Family Traditions: Thanksgiving

Emily Usinger

English 150 HD


Family Traditions: Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving is one of the few American holidays where present exchanging is not one of the major factors. This particular holiday focuses on tradition, as well as bringing family and friends together. When a person thinks of Thanksgiving a few common thoughts come to mind including those such as, white turkey breast, mash potatoes with gravy, and of course pumpkin pie. Even though most Thanksgivings share these similar traits, every family encompasses different traditions to make the holiday unique.

My family, for example, follows the same customs for Thanksgiving every year. Thanksgiving always takes place at my Aunt Barbara’s house. This is a very convenient location considering that she lives just down the street. My mother brings the dessert. She formulates three pumpkin pies, two of which are for the party and one stays at home for me. I always eat the crust first, and then add a good helping of whip cream to be eaten with the body of the pie. My father helps out as well by assembling the mashed potatoes every year. He loves to leave his potatoes a tad chunky. He claims that by doing this people will know his potatoes are homemade and not from a box. Barbara prepares the turkey, but our family usually does not sit down to eat until around seven or eight. This can become a problem for me due to the fact I starve myself all day in order to feast as much as possible by dinner time. My sister and I sit at a four-person table with our Aunt Debra and one other family member, which is usually my mother or another aunt. Debra likes to fill my sister and me in on all the new family gossip. Debra bakes the pumpkin bread and gives my sister and I our own mini loaves to take home to enjoy. A lot of family members come in and out of the house the whole night thus making leftovers scarce.   My mom will decide the next day to recreate Thanksgiving for just our family. My family loves Turkey Day so much that we celebrate it two days in a row.

Whether a family is big or small, as families’ lives get more hectic, many lose the custom of eating together. Even though it comes only once a year, Thanksgiving happens to bring all families together. Everyone should celebrate a holiday that focuses on family values rather that one that focuses on gifts.


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