Thanksgiving Traditions

Emily Thomas

Thanksgiving is not just another day off, it’s a holiday celebrated by millions of Americans each year. It’s a day to spend time with family and friends and to give thanks to everything in life. Families take a break from their busy lives to all come together and celebrate!

As many people know, in 1621 the English Pilgrims hit shore in Plymouth, Massachutes, but that was not when official Thanksgiving started. Thanksgiving did not become an actual holiday until about 200 years later, when Abraham Lincoln declared it would be celebrated the last Thursday of November, according to

Throughout the years, many traditions have stuck while others have fizzled out. Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, pulling the wishbone or watching football are just some traditions that are shared by many American families. But every tradition varies from family to family- even in our very own school. Here are just some of your classmates traditions.

Junior Julie Ann Ketcher stated that, “My mom and I light the same candle each year. I also help her make dinner-well more like eat it when she’s not watching.”  Many families, just like Julie Ann’s, all participate in preparing the feast. Although now, many people think of turkey being the center of the meal, but turkey has not always been in the picture. Back when Thanksgiving was first acknowledged as a holiday, people actually ate deer instead, said!

Another tradition that both seniors Dayna Sterner and Ally Zuidema do each year is bake pies with their mothers for a sweet treat after their main meal. Many families tend to make pie for after the feast, but there are so many different pies people make. From apple to pumpkin and even chocolate pie there is a plethora of different pies eaten on Thanksgiving.

Senior Lauren Franey says that, “I go to my grandma’s house and make sure to turn off the football game while eating.” While turning off the football game in Lauren’s house is a must, many others keep it on to enjoy during dinner. Our very own Buffalo Bills will be playing against the Dallas Cowboys this year, so that may be a reason for Buffalo families to keep the TV on this Thanksgiving!

Many people associate Thanksgiving with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Junior Breanna Bartz says that she and her familyTurkey “plan for Black Friday by cutting out coupons and taking a nap to prepare for the late night.” This is a tradition that many people participate in to get the best deals for the Christmas season, but it has not been around for that long. Black Friday only really truly started throughout the whole country in 1985 according to Many families can’t even imagine not going out late Thursday night, but it’s only been around for a little more than 30 years.

With all the Thanksgiving traditions there are all over the country, these only brush the surface. Whether you bake pies with your family or go Black Friday shopping, everyone has something special they do to celebrate the day. So next time you think of Thanksgiving as just another day off, take a moment to reflect on the things for which you are grateful!