Thanksgiving Is More Than Just Food

Thanksgiving is more than the classic foods, so let’s look beyond that this year.


Emma Harris

Thanksgiving is about family, being thankful, and giving to others- not just about the food.

As the holiday season begins, Thanksgiving arises. The popular mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots, turkey, and more are all associated with Thanksgiving when November rolls around. Many people first think of food when they hear Thanksgiving, but there is much more to this annual holiday than the typical feast. Thanksgiving Day is believed to have begun in 1621 when the Mayflower left England. Colonists started to settle when the Mayflower landed in Cape Cod. The Pilgrims and Native Americans planned a feast to celebrate their first harvest. 

    The Indians and Plymouth colonists shared this feast, now known as Thanksgiving dinner. While the holiday is thought to have begun in 1621, it was not made an actual holiday until 1863, when President Lincoln declared it as one. This famous holiday reaches back early into the US history itself, and is still celebrated to this day. Many people nowadays celebrate with a Thanksgiving dinner consisting of turkey, carrots, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and more, also including the dessert with pumpkin pie, apple pie, and more. Over the years, the views of this holiday have almost changed, in a way, as many people think that this celebration is all about the food, and less about the actual holiday and history itself. 

    Other than the food, Thanksgiving has many important traditions or aspects to it. A few things my family and friends have done for Thanksgiving is overall being together and being thankful. Being together with loved ones or friends is important, and to spend time with them is a gift. We should use this holiday time wisely and do things we enjoy. Many people also say what they are thankful for before dinner or after dinner, as a way of showing their thanks for the history and overall our life today. Many things can happen in an instant that can change someone’s life, so we should be thankful for what we have and how we are able to spend our time while we have it. 

    There are many people that take the holiday of Thanksgiving for granted, which is disappointing. It is an important time and we should celebrate it with our friends and family each year possible. Some people don’t even spend it with their loved ones, but continue to celebrate the season and spend Thanksgiving well.  Some people, for example, work or volunteer to run a kitchen for those in need on Thanksgiving while staying humble and thankful for what they have, spending this time helping others- said volunteers can appreciate the holiday even though they are working/volunteering for others. It is not all about the food for everyone- and even without the food the holiday can be celebrated to its fullest because of how others spend it.They have a good attitude and appreciate the time they get to spend with others even if they aren’t family. The season of being together, working together, and being there for others is, in my opinion, much more important than the actual holiday season or traditions themselves. Not everyone has a family or a community to lean on for support or celebrating during these seasons, and people should not take that for granted as they might not have it forever.