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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Columnists share what Thanksgiving means to them

    By: Kalli Ricka Wolf

    Ah, Thanksgiving time: The warmth of family, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and National Dog Show, the mashed potato volcano, the tofurkey — it’s my favorite holiday. Celebrating the holiday as a vegetarian may anger my mother, who has to make vegetarian gravy especially for me, but it’s my favorite home-cooked meal of the year.

    Not quite as stressful and costly as Christmas, but with all the benefits of the family get-together, Thanksgiving never fails to stuff me until the point of passing out on the couch (even if my tofurkey is sans tryptophan).

    My older brother will undoubtedly try to sneak turkey onto my plate, demand I break the wishbone with him or shove the turkey giblets in my face. My mother will cook the most delicious meal of the year as my father watches the football game and I am put on potato-peeling duty. Eventually, we will gather around the table, toast with a glass of wine and share our thanks.
    So, what am I thankful for this year? The UA and the opportunities it presents me, my friends — my source of sanity all throughout the stress of school — and lastly, my family, for always supporting me. Happy Thanksgiving, UA.

    Follow Kalli Ricka Wolf @kalli3wolf

    By: Katelyn Kennon

    If there was ever a Thanksgiving tradition in my family, it was fighting. Every year there was so much pressure: There had to be a party, there had to be a turkey, there had to be fun. And you better have had something good to say when it came your turn to answer the obligatory “what are you thankful for?” question.

    Eventually, usually over the pumpkin pie, we erupted in decidedly unthankful ways and each of us ended up indulging in separate corners until we fell into a deep turkey-coma and woke up drowsy but indifferent.

    One year, we were too busy to make plans. The night before, we rushed out to Trader Joe’s and picked up boxed, microwavable faux-substitutes in lieu of our normal feast. During our TV-tray meal, we silently binged on a Netflix-fueled “Parks and Rec” marathon.

    And it was glorious.

    I had never felt so relaxed on a holiday. I was grateful to be home and spending time with my sometimes-favorite people.

    After that, I think we all realized that having a designated day to loudly appreciate each other was phony for us. We didn’t want to celebrate, we didn’t want to put on a show — that’s not how we operated. It made us uncomfortable to conform to tradition, just because it was traditional.

    So now, instead, we microwave food and watch “Parks and Rec” every Thanksgiving.

    Sometimes the best way to express your gratitude is to shut up and laugh at Amy Poehler.

    Follow Katelyn Kennon @dailywildcat

    By: Jordan Allison

    Thanksgivvukkah: a hearty blend of my two favorite times of year, served best with potato latkes topped with cranberry sauce.

    Some people are displeased with the overlap of both holidays, but there is no way to change the dates of either. And let us remember that Hanukkah is really only this big of a deal because of its close proximity to Christmas — for the Jewish people, Hanukkah is a minor holiday. Is it awesome and something to look forward to? Sure. Is the food fantastic? Oh, definitely. But it’s not a high holy day. Most fellow tribe members such as myself would agree that this calendar crossover is nothing to get too worked up about.

    The missions of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah aren’t all that different to me. On Thanksgiving, we reminisce on what we’re thankful for. On Hanukkah, we reflect on dedication and miracles. This Thanksgivvukkah, let’s all give thanks for the miracles in our lives and how we can best dedicate ourselves to helping others realize their own miracles.

    Jewish holidays are obviously Jewish, but we take advantage of holidays like Christmas too. Someone’s got to go to the movie theater and eat Chinese food, and we’re prepared to take on that task. Thanksgiving has always been a prelude to the Hanukkah celebration that would occur a couple of weeks later. For my family, the only thing that changes between celebrations is the type of food. And don’t worry, there’s always food. Just make sure it’s kosher.

    Follow Jordan Allison @dailywildcat

    By: Shelby Thomas

    Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that everyone should be celebrating all year long. Still, there is something about a house full of food and family that warms my soul like no other day could.

    Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday because it is one that never changes as the years go by. Christmas will always be filled with jolly good spirit, but eventually, the magic I felt when I was a little girl baking cookies for Santa or checking my stocking fades away slightly. And it kind of breaks my heart.

    Thanksgiving is always the same, though. I know I can always count on smelling toasty rolls rising in the oven, spending the day lounging and playing games with my brothers and sisters, and sneaking into the kitchen to pick at remnants of the glistening food that awaits us. It is an excuse for my four siblings, who are now all spread out in different states, to pack their scarves and come home.

    And home is Colorado. Home is a light layer of snow coating the lawn. Home is hugs and laughter and bickering and more laughter. Home is comfort. For me, that’s what Thanksgiving represents: a time to appreciate the people who we love.

    Follow Shelby Thomas @shelbyalayne

    By: Elizabeth Eaton

    My family has always celebrated holidays unconventionally. On Christmas morning, we eat Jewish coffee cake and watch Die Hard (the best Christmas movie), and on Thanksgiving, my parents are no less traditional.

    For the past couple years, my parents have left me home alone on the sacred day of the turkey and flown to sin city to gamble away my college fund. Apparently, airline tickets are really cheap the day everybody is supposed to be staying at home with family.

    Although being abandoned by their parents on such an important American holiday might bother some, I don’t really mind. I’m glad that my mom and dad are still active and adventurous, and this is a great opportunity for them to have some fun and “alone time.”

    Back in Washington, I stay with a variety of friends and their families while my mom is off winning pumpkin pies in casinos (Yes, that really did happen once). It gives me a break from my parents’ strictness and midnight curfew and allows me to experience Thanksgiving in so many different ways.

    One year, I spent the day with my friend Brittany and her wonderful Arabic family. Her mom put quirky spins on the traditional American food and served babaganoush as an appetizer, but the evening pie was still emphasized as the most important part of the meal. Her family was loud, boisterous and loving; by the end of the day I truly felt like a part of their home. Brittany’s aunt even tried to set me up with her son.

    Even though I declined, I was touched by the generosity and openness of their family. It was truly a memorable Thanksgiving experience, one that I believed emphasized what this holiday is all about.

    When you are willing to open your home to someone left alone for the holiday, you know you’re doing Thanksgiving right.

    Follow Elizabeth Eaton @liz_eaton95

    By: Carson Suggs

    I’ve always believed it is most appropriate to start listening to Christmas music around Thanksgiving. It is the shopping season, after all, and it’s time for people to get into that mood ‚ that indescribable warmth that comes only when it’s coldest outside and we feel the desire to give, materially and otherwise.

    But I try to ration my exposure to traditional Christmas music — you know, the stuff you’re bound to hear in shopping centers and KOOL FM radio up in Phoenix. As charming as it is, I can only take so much of José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad.”

    The music I listen to tends to reflect whatever is going on around me, and for the past few years, Low’s “Christmas,” released in 1999, has been the go-to source for my Christmas-time listening needs. While it contains some Christmas classics, it’s far from traditional in its approach. The highlight for me is their take on “Little Drummer Boy,” which drones on as the vocals haunt us from (it feels like) somewhere far away. They put more heart into their lullaby-esque “Silent Night” than what you will probably hear throughout the season. The deceptively upbeat “Just Like Christmas” opens the album, setting the state for a more conflicted holiday experience than we’re accustomed to hearing.

    So Thanksgiving, to me, is the real beginning of Christmas music, and Christmas music, to me, has been defined by Low’s Christmas, with its melancholy and contradictions. Not everything has to be merry, after all.

    Follow Carson Suggs @crsnsggs

    By: Ashley T. Powell

    It’s safe to say that for most, Thanksgiving is all about feasting and leftovers. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating so much that I have to unbutton my pants and being with family as much as the next guy. But, I look forward to something else even more every year at Thanksgiving.

    When everyone is relaxing after eating such an extravagant meal, I’m changing into comfortable clothes, making a cup of coffee and hitting the road with either my sister or friends to take part in the infamous Black Friday shopping.

    I have always been a night owl — someone who would prefer to stay up all night and sleep in. Add that to every girl’s love of shopping and sales — Black Friday was made for me.

    This year, you’ll find me finishing up dinner and heading out extra early. I’ll be starting my Black Friday extravaganza on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and I am planning on shopping well into 5 a.m. on Friday.

    Call me crazy, but sleep is for the weak.

    A lot of people are disgusted with the idea of dealing with enormous crowds and pulling an all nighter just to get a good deal. But for me, it’s more than a good deal, it’s a thrilling tradition.

    Follow Ashley T. Powell @ashleytaylar

    By: David W. Mariotte

    For most of my life, my Thanksgiving tradition has been roughly the same: I’ll get up, drink a cup of hot chocolate and find the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage with the fewest talking heads to watch with my parents. Then, at about noon, once the parade has wrapped up, I usually realize that I have the flu and I’m not going to be able to eat dinner. My next move is to take a fever nap. I usually get up for dinner and manage to eat a roll and a couple of forkfuls of green beans before I go back to sleep. It is not a fun time, but I do like getting to spend the morning with my family.

    This year, I’m breaking that tradition. I’ll be spending Thanksgiving in Tucson with my family of choice. My parents are coming up on Saturday, but I’ll be spending Wednesday with my friends from the Nifty Engineering Robotics Design Squad. Those NERDS have been like family since high school. I’m spending Thanksgiving Day with some other friends in Tucson who are practically family. Assuming Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the people you love and who love you, I’ll be set. Unless I get sick, in which case no one will be happy.

    Follow David W. Mariotte @DW_davidwallace

    By: Nick Havey

    This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the people that either chose or were forced to work on the holiday. It’s certainly hard, and this year, I’m one of those people. Luckily, I just get to stay in my residence hall wearing pajama pants and studying for finals while I’m “working.” Others have it harder, and I’m thankful that they are there to provide food, support and services to the people who are lucky enough to be at home with their families.

    I certainly didn’t start this year thinking I’d be spending Thanksgiving on campus, but I’m glad that my family will be able to make it. Thanks to the people that are working, we’ll be able to purchase dinner instead of cooking the colossal feast that Thanksgiving usually is — especially important since it’s hard to even make ramen in a residence hall kitchen, much less a turkey and sides.

    Finally, I’m thankful for one of life’s most precious gifts: naps. While I convinced myself in high school that naps were a waste of my time, college has turned that thought around and transformed them into the beautiful span of time they are. Consuming massive amounts of food, especially foods with tryptophan, makes anyone sleepy so I’ll be excited to nap off my food baby — that is, until someone calls with a problem.

    Follow Nick Havey @nihavey

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