A wholesome holiday

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A wholesome holiday

Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for individuals to express their gratitude and feelings toward loved ones.

Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for individuals to express their gratitude and feelings toward loved ones.

Hannah Backus

Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for individuals to express their gratitude and feelings toward loved ones.

Hannah Backus

Hannah Backus

Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for individuals to express their gratitude and feelings toward loved ones.

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Fall, in my semi-humble opinion, is the epitome of comfort and joy. It is a time when fuzzy socks and copious amounts of hot chocolate are once again socially acceptable, and teachers start to lessen their workload. Windows frost over and families bring out their favorite movies and board games. All of these (already brilliant) components are heightened by the knowledge that one of best holidays, Thanksgiving, is just around the corner. Now, some may argue that Christmas is better, with its overbearing peppermint scents and burnt tongues from too-hot cider. These people are probably the ones who leave their fairy lights up year-round and who begin playing holiday-themed music starting Oct. 1. Maybe others would argue the Fourth of July reigns supreme, with its brilliant red fireworks lighting up the sky while watermelon juice drips to the ground. Don’t get me wrong. I adore Christmas (and I won’t deny I started listening to “Sleigh Ride” the day after Halloween), and I find the Fourth of July is a fantastic excuse to light things on fire and grill burgers. However, no holiday quite steals my heart the way Thanksgiving does. From family and friends to football and films, Thanksgiving is the crowning jewel of America’s celebrations.

From family and friends to football and films, Thanksgiving is the crowning jewel of America’s celebrations.”

— Abigail Bell, 10

To start off, no other holiday is quite like Thanksgiving. From the warm scent of baking bread wafting out from the kitchen to the enthusiastic–or despondent–cheers from the living room gang, it is truly the “most wonderful time of the year”–despite what Andy William’s Christmas carol says. There is something endearing about having a set day each year for families and friends to enjoy each others’ company, eat far too many carbohydrates and plan for the aforementioned festivities of Christmas. As the sun sets, groups of people often reminisce on the blessings of their lives. The entire day feels tranquil and soft, a welcome contrast to the bitter weather lurking outside. The holiday isn’t so mainstream as to be in-the-face annoying, but the warm autumnal colors that pop up around this time of year suffice to bring about a holiday spirit. It is a peaceful and wholesome day.

The activities of the day, as domestic and insignificant as they may appear, provide a sense of unity to the home. The typical schedule, for my family at least, begins as early as 6:30 a.m. The kitchen begins to bustle with energy; breads are set out to rise, potatoes are boiled and pie fillings are whipped up and put in the refrigerator to set. Guests who have been absent for a year arrive and greetings are exchanged. In the living room, the same group–consisting of the same people every year–accumulates around the television for yet another year of cheering on their favorite teams. Their celebratory or miffed cries mark the passage of time as the football game progresses. Outside, younger cousins play baseball, roll around in piles of dead leaves and generally have a fun time. Everyone seems to cherish the few hours they can spend together before having to part ways. Even at lunch, when politics prowl at the edge of conversations, the whole family actively strives to maintain civility. 

The activities of the day, as domestic and insignificant as they may appear, provide a sense of unity to the home.”

— Abigail Bell, 10

Once everyone is seated, the real task begins. Plates are loaded with towers of turkey, mountains of mashed potatoes and stores of stuffing. Even with minuscule servings, the dish is quickly filled up, making a second-round necessary. The conversation carries the meal on and the main course is quickly over, and only dessert remains. At a separate table, pies are lined up next to cookies are lined up next to breads. Slices of sweets quickly disappear until all that is left are crumbs and contentment. Around the table, a lull settles upon the family and folks begin to nod off. Heavy eyelids are taken as a signal and everyone disperses to their respective positions about the house to read books and watch movies by themselves.

Plates are loaded with towers of turkey, mountains of mashed potatoes and stores of stuffing.”

— Abigail Bell, 10

Thanksgiving enjoyment is not limited to the day itself, either. As the break approaches, teachers begin to decrease the amount of schoolwork they assign. Outside of school, movie producers strategically release films so that they can be seen when everyone is off from work. (On an aside, I was in love with “Moana” and the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” movies, and eagerly anticipate watching “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, released Nov. 22.)  Additionally, Black Friday–one of the simultaneously best and worst ideas ever invented–allows families to get their Christmas shopping out of the way with unreasonably cheap sales. While the crowds in larger cities can be intimidating, the Canyon-Amarillo area is small enough the day is practical and well-run. Students and adults alike can return to their workplaces in relative fashion and a sense of renewal.

Thanksgiving is a charming day that holds a special place in my heart as one of the most pure and pleasant days of the year. It is a perfect excuse to tell loved ones how dear they are and is an opportunity to recharge for the school remaining before winter break. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a ful-“filling” holiday!

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