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  • Writer's pictureMason Edwards!

A Preview of Thanksgiving Treats and Traditions

By Mason Edwards, Staff Writer for the University Echo

Shoppers look at items at a grocery store in Glenview, Ill., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. Americans are bracing for a costly Thanksgiving this year, with double-digit percent increases in the price of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, canned pumpkin and other staples. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

From sugared spaghetti to traditional turkey, family traditions dictate exactly what one gobbles up for Thanksgiving.

Holidays provide everyone with a special freedom otherwise ungranted: a chance to celebrate life how they want to, from experiencing new customs to relishing old habits.

Despite the stereotypical image of a family appreciating what they have while eating turkey, the day lets one choose to rejoice with who or what they have– whether that is family, friends, significant others, roommates or co-workers.

UTC freshman and anthropology major Josiah Borst is excited to introduce his family’s festivities to two Ukrainian foreign exchange students, Arsen Martyscchuk and Nina Klimenkora.

They were the first two people Borst met on campus, living in the same building as him. Friendly and outgoing, he’s made lifelong friends with many foreign exchange students. Martyscchuk and Klimenkora will try “pumpkin dinner” with Borst’s family in Franklin.

“Pumpkin dinner is cooking rice and meat, with seasoning, inside a pumpkin in the oven,” Borst explained, noting that they scrape all of the pumpkin’s flesh out beforehand. “I have already notified them about our tradition: going around the table and everyone saying one thing we’re thankful for about each person.”

Loved ones were at the forefront of Justin Turner’s mind, a junior studying mechatronics. Planning to travel five hours to Memphis, he’s most excited about spending quality time with his family, eating in the living room and watching movies.

“We eat a lot of grains, spaghetti, yams, turkey and cornbread,” Turner said. “If my parents are willing, they’ll cook chitlins…they are are pig intestines.”

According to Turner, chitlins taste much better than they smell, and his mom’s recipe for spaghetti– complete with adding sugar– might be somewhat unusual.

With a virtually infinite amount of people, places, and experiences to be thankful for, how one celebrates Thanksgiving– or doesn’t– is entirely their choice, especially for Rebecca “Belle” Brady, a sophomore and psychology major. She’ll be traveling home to Dayton to spend time with her boyfriend, but she has strong opinions about the holiday in general.

“Thanksgiving has the worst food out of every holiday,” Brady claimed. “The history absolutely ruins it.”

Still, Thanksgiving provides college students with breathing space, room to either slow down or stop altogether, from the bulk of an intense semester. The overwhelming stresses of dealing with parking, exams, projects, groups, socializing, work, and all manner of responsibilities eases throughout the break. 

While some will choose to relax, Adam Summervell, a transferring sophomore and computer science major, plans to travel six hours to Virginia and see more of his family. One of their traditions includes making bowls of punch, but he’s most excited for another family activity.

“Back before my grandmother passed away, we played the most competitive game of family Uno,” Summervell said while playing foosball in the University Center.

In every student poll, the Echo found most students wished to spend the week with their loved ones or people special to them– even if they didn’t approve of the holiday itself.

The unique traditions and new experiences that happen reflect the best part of Thanksgiving—not food, free time or Black Friday sales—but a freedom to share the holiday with whom one desires.

The University Echo staff wishes you a joyful Thanksgiving break.

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