My Modern Thanksgiving: Just Another Day Out Of School


For a lot of people, Thanksgiving consists of seeing your extended family and having special food made to celebrate the national holiday. People see cousins they may not normally see and families travel from all over to meet in one family member’s home. Everyone tries to help out in the kitchen unless the football games have already started, and before the games and the feast there might even be a family football game.

For me, Thanksgiving has never really been like that. My dad came from a broken home and didn’t really do much for the holiday, and my mom had a large family. Being one of seven kids, she’s the only one that moved from the east to the west coast. That meant I wouldn’t be able to spend Thanksgiving with a big group of people, including all of my countless cousins, aunts and uncles because we lived so far away. Growing up, Thanksgiving would consist of just my mom, dad and me. Then later, after my parents divorced it would just be my mom and me or my dad and me. 

My dad doesn’t cook really besides burgers on the grill, so everything for Thanksgiving dinner is usually pre-made or store-bought food, which doesn’t necessarily scream Thanksgiving tradition. Not to mention, growing up I was a picky eater which meant a lot of the foods that are staples of a Thanksgiving feast I wouldn’t have, so most times Thanksgiving meals weren’t so different from meals on any other day of the year. 

Obviously, there would never be enough players to be able to play a game of football within my own family, unless, we recruited one of my parents to be an all-time quarterback. So, if I did want to play a game of football on Thanksgiving it would have to be with a friend’s family and extended family. Things would be awkward at times because I’d be the only one with a different last name on the field, but I’d be happy to be a part of the tradition. 

I feel more and more as time goes on and technology improves, Thanksgiving is beginning to be less emphasized when compared to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. As time goes on we lose more and more of what are the little things that this country was built on, and therefore we are growingly forgetful about what this holiday really means, which is to be thankful. Just turn on a TV at any time after Halloween and before Thanksgiving and you will see more mentions for Christmas and Christmas shopping than Thanksgiving and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

To me, Thanksgiving was just a holiday I’d look forward to because it meant time off from school, gave another day of the week with multiple football games besides Sunday and provided a benchmark telling me winter break was right around the corner. A break from school always triumphed over this lousy holiday.