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Family, Friends, Food and Fun: Thanksgiving is Here

by Toni Grogg

The last Thursday of November is an exciting holiday for Americans who love food and family. Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy life and start new traditions. Many families either try and start them each year, but fail to continue them, and others have traditions that last a lifetime. Traditions can range from simple to extreme, but they have the same amount of fun and meaning. Some family traditions can be unique and never heard of, and others can be something popular.

Outdoorsmen and hunters are those who have the tradition to go hunting every Thanksgiving. Deer season starts the week of Thanksgiving, and it lasts until Dec. 2.

“Opening day is like Christmas to me,” WVU Parkersburg student Andrew Hoschar said.

Also, his Thanksgiving tradition is to skip dinner with family to go hunting all day, then go to Golden Corral in the evening. He does this every year, and has been doing it for a very long time. However, Andrew is not the only person who has a tradition to go hunting on Thanksgiving.

Soumia Smiri, another student at WVU Parkersburg, said that her uncles, cousins and boyfriend all go out early in the morning to deer hunt. Even their dinner is worked around the hunting time, and it usually starts after the hunters get back and clean up.

Some Thanksgiving traditions can be related to Christmas. For Lexi Rice, the family sets up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving evening every year. She has been doing this with her parents and brother for years, and she will be starting it at her own home with her fiance.

There is another tradition that occurs on Thanksgiving that is fairly common. This tradition would be pulling names to see who you will be buying for for Christmas. WVU Parkersburg student Russ Bunner and his family do this like many other families. This a great tradition to save money and keep everyone happy.

Some Thanksgiving traditions go above and beyond. These kind of traditions last until no one else in a family can continue them. WVU Parkersburg Student Services Specialist Debbie Harner and her family have a tradition that is unique and full of creativity.

Her family gathers at her father and stepmother’s house to have dinner. Her stepmother started a tradition where every single person that comes into their home, even for a few minutes, on Thanksgiving is required to draw their hand print on the tablecloth. After they draw their hand, they are to put what they are thankful for in the fingers, along the year, in the palm. The tablecloth is so big that it drags the floor, and that they have been using just one side for 14 years. But, this year, they are flipping the tablecloth and starting fresh on the clean side.

On the flip side of traditions, it seems to be that many people have little to none. Some families have a designated place where they go every year, and that is the only thing that is done traditionally other than eating the food.

Aaron Pittaway’s family meets at his grandparents house, and his grandfather says the blessing each year. Some families do not even celebrate Thanksgiving at all due to work. You can say that these families tradition is to work every year and catch up with family sometime during the week.

Thanksgiving traditions are a great way to bring together family and friends in a creative and fun way. These traditions have meaning no matter how big or small. This time of the year is full of fun and joy. So, why not make it even better by starting a new tradition with those you love and care for?

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