Thanksgiving is not just another work holiday


Kelsie Engert appreciates Thanksgiving for what it is. To her, it’s a time for family, food and gratefulness.

Kelsie Engert, Social Media Editor

It’s that time of the year. There’s Snow, holiday prep, shopping, tree-lighting and, oh, that’s right, turkey dinner.

Yet again, Thanksgiving will drown in all of the Christmas hype surrounding it, between the premiere of holiday tunes on the radio, Black Friday shopping and decorated trees lighting the mall concourses by the beginning of November.

For some people, it’s just another work holiday.

For others, it’s just the day before Black Friday.

And for most Americans, it’s a dreaded family dinner that lasts just an extra hour. But for myself, it’s a glorious, full-day celebration of food, family and giving thanks; I’m planning on keeping it that way.

In my family, we take the food aspect of the holiday very (and I mean VERY) seriously. Well, we can’t just dismiss the fact that the first Thanksgiving was a giant feast! Therefore, we are, in fact, gathering in the name of food. But, who am I kidding? We’re Italian. Why else would we gather?

No one comes empty-handed. Oyster stuffing in one hand, pumpkin pie in the other, my mom barges through the door of my grandma’s kitchen every year yelling that she needs the oven first.

I’m usually behind her with my notoriously scrumptious apple pie.

My sister retired to a bean casserole dish after burning her last apple pie. The aunts, uncles and cousins bring their traditional sides to add to the feast. And at about 3 in the afternoon, my grandma pulls out a juicy, flavourful fat turkey from the oven, along with grandpa’s to-die-for homemade stuffing and grandma’s famous garlic butter rolls.

Dinner is ready to be served, but not until we all gather hand-in-hand to pray and give thanks for the blessings God has given us, and for the food we are about to consume.

Once our heads raise and hands unlock, we’re in feast-mode.

We all grab plates, fight over the dark meat on the turkey, load our plates with all of the Thanksgiving sides imaginable, rave over the garlic butter rolls (well, the ones that made it through the prayer) and drizzle gravy over all of it.

From there, it’s feasting, laughter, fellowship and family time. Old past-times, politics and catch-up talk usually dominate the loud conversations. When we’ve exhausted the hot topics, then we know it’s time to grab seconds and then thirds. By that time, we’re bloated and ready to roll out the door. But then about an hour later, we dig into desserts, which include pies upon pies upon pies.

Once we’ve all eaten way beyond our stomachs’ limits, we retire to the couch for some football and more family time. Usually, talk of a late-night cardio workout comes up, but then never happens, just like the afterthought of Black Friday shopping. We decide to just stay in and spend the night with the ones we love and cherish dearly.

That’s what Thanksgiving is about; spending precious time with family, feasting and giving thanks for all of the blessings the year has brought you.

I can’t imagine it without this special day.