Nearly 400 years after the first Thanksgiving, a lot has changed in our world. America has gained its independence, mankind has walked on the moon, and the Internet has been invented. Yet the annual turkey-eating holiday has persisted throughout the centuries, virtually unchanged. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, what do our Andrean students think about the holiday? “I like getting to eat food with my family,” said Genevieve Ruiz (10).
While students are grateful for the delicious turkey, buttery corn on the cob, mouthwatering mashed potatoes and tangy cranberry sauce that Thanksgiving brings, they also recognize the importance of family. “[It is important] to be with your family and spend time with them. [This is especially true] for me because I’m about to graduate, and I want to make sure that I’m with them as much as I can be,” said Talia Roldan (12).
Besides the usual turkey-eating, Thanksgiving traditions include a variety of activities, from eating food to watching movies, but they all include an aspect of family. “On the Puerto Rican half [of my family], we all wear sweatpants and we watch Nacho Libre,” Roldan said. “On the Mexican side, we don’t have traditional Thanksgiving food. We have tamales, and we make them the night before.”
The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is known for big sales and unruly shoppers. “Black Friday is crowded and there’s always a lot of chaos,” Ruiz said, “but I like Cyber Monday because it’s online.” Cyber Monday is the online shopping equivalent of Black Friday occurring on the following Monday.
Most students agree that sales are great, but they come at a cost. “I think they take away from Thanksgiving,” Roldan said. “It’s not fair for the people who work.” Many employees in the United States miss out on the Thanksgiving festivities because they have to work. “I think stores should not stay open, because workers need to go home and be with their families and eat Thanksgiving dinner,” Ruiz said. Many stores such as Staples, Petco, and HHGregg have realized this and will be closed on Thanksgiving this year. “Sales are nice. I just wish they weren’t so close to the holidays,” Roldan said.
In response to the materialistic attitude that seems to be taking over the holiday season, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving has been called Giving Tuesday to shift the focus to giving rather than receiving. This year, instead of the annual super raffle, Andrean will have a one-day fundraiser on Giving Tuesday. The school’s goal is to raise $59,000 in one day. “I think it’s a nice idea, and I hope everyone will take it seriously,” Roldan said.
While modern society puts an emphasis on good cuisine and good savings, many believe the true focus of Thanksgiving should be giving thanks. Many people believe it is a time to be grateful for what we have and what God has given us. Many see the holiday as a time to share our gifts with others. Many view it as a time to be thankful for our lives and spend time with our families. This year celebrate what Thanksgiving means to you.