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Madie Hays, Staff Writer

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Families Share Unorthodox Turkey Day Traditions

All over the United States, millions gather around their tables this time of year with family and friends to celebrate the unity of their loved ones and great food. For years, the average American family will assemble the classic turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing for their Thanksgiving feast, and then unbutton their pants as they watch football until the mass amount of food they have digested puts them to sleep.
However, different families create different traditions. Going to Grandma’s house for dinner and a friendly football game may be the highlight of Thanksgiving for some, but going out of town or eating a unique dish may be the norm for others.

The short yet much-needed holiday is often swept under the rug. People go from trick-or-treating straight to singing along to their favorite Christmas tunes in the car. While most holidays revolve around receiving, Thanksgiving honors the act of giving. Many students and staff will be rounded up at the table surrounded by close and distant relatives awaiting a meal they only get once a year, and others may celebrate in ways that are out of the ordinary.

Not everyone will get the opportunity to celebrate this annual holiday at home with their families, some students have other obligations to attend.

“This year I will be spending my Thanksgiving at the St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Lindbergh marching band,” Jack Fletcher (12) said.

Some students will also share the holiday with their closest friends. ‘Friendsgiving’ has become a popular trend where students or even teachers will set aside a day and make their own Thanksgiving feast to celebrate their friendship.

Another wildly popular Thanksgiving tradition is Black Friday shopping, where people rise extra early despite their food hangover, then hit their favorite stores for some good holiday deals.

“I love going Black Friday shopping with my friends. After we see our families we hang out then get up super early to shop. It’s become something we do every year now,” Rachel Fritsch (12) said.

Students like Kara Weiss (11), on the other hand, skip out on the Black Friday fun to do something a little different.

“Instead of Black Friday shopping, my family and I go find a tree to cut down. We call it tree murdering,” Weiss said.

Combining Thanksgiving and Christmas is a classic tradition for many. Getting to open one Christmas gift early or receiving an ornament is a simple way to get excited for the holiday season.

Many families find a way to recognize their heritage through food. While Thanksgiving is an American holiday, honoring family roots by dedicating a certain dish to culture is a simple way to make the day more special.

“My family is German so we make a dish called Rouladin, which is sheets of pork rolled up and seasoned with peppers. It’s been my favorite Thanksgiving food for as long as I can remember,” Elise Baechle (12) said.

Instead of finding a new cuisine to cater a family ancestor, there are many ways to spice up an average Thanksgiving. Students like Annie Boyer (9) find ways to escape the usual holiday festivities and travel.

“Sometimes we go to Kansas City on Thanksgiving to spend time with family and friends, it’s different and a lot of fun,” Boyer said.

Traveling may not always be the most ideal for every family on Thanksgiving. A typical turkey day consists of lots of football, watching and even playing. Switching up the classic football game to another friendly sport may make the day more inclusive for all family members.

“During the day we play a family soccer game then we go inside and eat,” Claire Worthen (11) said.

Nothing is more exciting than dedicating an entire day to eating food and spending time with family. Thanksgiving represents the expression of gratitude, and whether it’s being celebrated with family or friends, home or away, it’s important to make it memorable.

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