Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

On Thursday, November 22 of 1621, the first autumn feast was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the new world. It lasted three days shared with the Wampanoag Indians. The feast was created in honor of celebrating and giving thanks for the pilgrims’ victory over the natives.

Although it seems Thanksgiving was founded in violence, today we focus on the aspect of gratitude.  The holiday has evolved over time to be established as a day of appreciation. Thanksgiving is now a time to gather with loved ones and give thanks for all we have been given.

We asked our fellow Hawks to share what Thanksgiving means to them this holiday season. Here are some of their unique stories…

How Does Com 200 Celebrates Thanksgiving?

Steph (’21): Coming from Australia, I had never had a “Thanksgiving Feast” until last year. It was an awesome experience and one I am looking forward to again this year because any family I am with welcomes me into their home as if I was a part of their family too. The food is definitely my favourite part. Although turkey isn’t a favourite meat of mine, or anyone in Australia really (we prefer Kangaroo), I love getting in the spirit for the holiday.

Ali (‘22): To me, Thanksgiving is like a reunion and being surrounded by those I love. Nothing too crazy happens during this annual holiday, my family and I usually spend this day watching movies and being lazy. Not only do I love eating the big meal and repeatedly going to the fridge for leftovers, I cherish and am thankful for these moments as all of my siblings, distant family, and friends are home.

Brett (‘19): My uncle is the only family member who knows how to make Thanksgiving dinner right, so every year we cheer him on while he does all the work. My mom and Aunt would always stay at the table long after everyone had finished and get loud drunk together.

Lorenzo (’20):  Thanksgiving for me is different, I don’t have the chance to go home because of the basketball schedule but I usually spend this day with one of my teammates and his family.

Matt (‘20): For me, Thanksgiving is about coming together with friends and family while enjoying good food and lots of laughs. Being thankful for everything that we have and making tons of memories year after year.

Jules (‘21): Thanksgiving to me is going home and celebrating my families birthdays. My mom, my sister, and I are all born within 4 days of each other and one of our birthdays almost always falls on Thanksgiving so we have a week long celebration with all of my extended family.

Grace (‘21): For me, Thanksgiving means spending time with my family members, taking our Christmas card photo, and eating lots of my mom’s mashed potatoes. I love this holiday because it is a great chance to reflect on what I am thankful for with my family and friends.

Skylar (‘21): For me, Thanksgiving is a day to relax, appreciate my family and enjoy stuffing my face with endless delicious home cooked foods.

Frantz (’22): Thanksgiving to me is just a time to be thankful for everything and a time to be grateful for my family. The day that brings family closer and appreciates one another.

Jordan (‘22): Thanksgiving to me is the special day out of the year that I get to see family that I don’t usually see for a while. It’s also the start of the Christmas season for us because we pick out a tree ornament at a Christmas store on Thanksgiving night.

Learning diverse perspectives on a holiday like Thanksgiving can really help to get you in the spirit of the day, and that spirit is one of gratitude. Whatever you’re grateful for this season, whether it be family, friends, old-standing traditions, or new seasonal experiences, give thanks with all your heart. Eat up, stay warm, and enjoy your Turkey Week.


Lara Guerrini, Steph Kelly, Jules Hester, Gianina Cavallaro, Grace McKeon, Skylar Raffensperger, Jordan Stern, Brett Tillotson, Keely Nilan, Alexi Arias, Matt Cuppari, Lorenzo Edwards, Mariela Diaz, Sierra Long.


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