Each year, during the fourth week of November, people all around the United States gather with their families and spend a day being grateful for what they have. BYU–Hawaii students shared some of their favorite traditions, including intense bingo games, spending time with cousins and starting to get in the Christmas spirit at the end of the day.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in remembrance of the first Thanksgiving, according to the Washington Examiner. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims, who actually ate seafood, not Turkey.
During this time of year, around 50 million people travel to see loved ones, nearly 35,000 pounds of turkey is eaten, almost 30 million people watch the Thanksgiving Day football game, and 3.5 million people line the streets of Manhattan to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to the Washington Examiner.
As for BYUH students, they said Thanksgiving for them is all about family and being grateful for all the little things they have.
Dana Plomgren, a junior from California majoring in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, said Thanksgiving to her is about taking time to remember what she has and expressing gratitude for it. “Thanksgiving means being thankful for what you have – family, friends, food, a college education, and a roof over my head among other things.”
Thanksgiving in the Plomgren House, she explained, is also a Christmas kickoff. One of her favorite traditions, she shared, is how “every Thanksgiving evening after our lunch or dinner, my family and I put up our Christmas tree and decorations.”
Andrea Doucette, a sophomore from Utah majoring in exercise and sport science, shared how Thanksgiving is a special holiday because it just involves being thankful without worrying about gifts. “Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and being with family,” she explained. “It doesn’t involve gifts, just good food and family.”
Doucette said her favorite tradition is an “intense” game of bingo she plays with her family each year during Thanksgiving.
Amanda Chipman, a junior from Idaho majoring in psychology, described how her family spends their Thanksgiving Day together in the kitchen. “We all help cook, and the TV is always on with the parade or music. Everyone has jobs and we all get dressed up and eat for hours.”
Thanksgiving for Amanda Chipman is all about family, she explained. Her family doesn’t just stay in their own home, but they go and visit their cousins and enjoy being around each other on Thanksgiving. “My favorite tradition is taking all the food to my cousins’ house and eating together and playing card games for hours.”
Mattea Chipman, a sophomore from Idaho majoring in English, said Thanksgiving for her is being around the people you love. “I think Thanksgiving is being surrounded by your blessings and acknowledging them. It is when you spend time with the people you love celebrating the good blessings you have in life.”
Her favorite tradition, she shared, involves not only Thanksgiving, but also looking forward to Black Friday. “My favorite tradition is playing games together as a family as we eat pie and look at the ads for Black Friday.”