Thanksgiving traditions kick off holiday season

It’s the holiday season, Thanksgiving has come to an end, while Christmas is around the corner, and New Year’s is on the horizon.

Christmas is the time of the year some families come together to celebrate the the birth of Jesus. However, Christmas has become much more than just the celebration of the Christian holiday. It brings the community together to celebrate one another. Similarly, Thanksgiving has grown from Pilgrims celebrating their harvest to a holiday where people come together to show thanks for one another.  The holiday season is a time for some less traditional traditions. 

“Every Thanksgiving we put up our Christmas tree as a family. It is nice to have the family together to be show thanks for one another,” said Ashley Wipfler (12).

Decorating the tree is something Ashley always likes to do. She listens to music while spending time with her family. The Wipfler family has a big dinner then spends the remainder of the day decorating and getting ready for Christmas. This is an annual tradition for many families in the Bloomington-Normal area.

Lavanya Sathyamurthy (11) spends her Thanksgiving break differently than most of the average American families.

I do not celebrate the traditional Thanksgiving, because my parents immigrated here from India. Celebrating Thanksgiving is not part of our culture. Over the holiday break, I celebrate a ‘Friendsgiving’ – I spend Thanksgiving with my other Asian friends who don’t celebrate the holiday,” said Sathyamurthy.

Sathyamurthy gathers friends together to eat food and to play games. Although it is not the traditional holiday celebration it captures the spirit of loved ones spending time together. Sathyamurthy still finds the holiday important, because she cherishes the time she gets to spend time with family and friends.

Madyson Goodwin (11) eats her Thanksgiving dinner with close relatives, but the night follows with her family’s tradition. Goodwin’s family is very important to her, she strongly values spending Thanksgiving with them, it pulls everyone together. But for her the holiday is less about the meal, and more about what comes afterwards.

“We stay up [after the movie] in our sweats while looking through magazines and have left-overs at 10:30 pm. Then we go Black Friday shopping,” Goodwin said.

 Mr. Christopher Belt’s family Thanksgiving tradition gathers his close relatives around, where they talk about what they are thankful for after their premeal prayer

We have done this tradition for 10 plus years. Everyone cries every year,” said Belt, who plans to carry the tradition on with his family, so his child can pass it on as well.

Thanksgiving brings families together to start the holiday season. Although some might not celebrate the holidays traditionally, the holiday season is a time for family and friends.