How to Handle Thanksgiving

By Grace Masback

WANT Original Content

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and whether your family tradition is to gather around a traditional turkey dinner or hit up your local Chinese restaurant here are a few tips to keep the holiday fun.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special. This mix of comic relief and historical interlude tells the story of Thanksgiving in a Charles Schulz sort-of-way, providing a festive, sentimental way to calm down during the  chaotic holiday period.

Additionally, no matter what your Thanksgiving plans, sharing what you are thankful for allows for reflection on the true meaning of the holiday. All too often, we get caught up in our day-to-day life, and a moment of Thanksgiving reflection allows you to appreciate what you have and experience, especially the little things that should make us happy.

Of course, it’s hard to forget about the awkward conversations with the relatives. How many times have your relatives asked you “How’s school?” or, better yet, “How’s ballet?” even though you haven’t taken ballet for 10 years and all you can think about is “How quickly can I change the subject? My advice for these excessively awkward situations — get them talking about themselves. Ask about their kids, their new job, or their fantasy football team. And, if that doesn’t work, you can always change the subject with a totally cheesy joke. For example: “Knock, knock. Who’s there? Harry. Harry who? Harry up, I’m starving.”

Then, there is the food. Your bustling aunt, mom, grandma, dad, cousin, etc. spend all day preparing the feast. The cranberry sauce, the mashed potatoes, the brussel sprouts, the pie, and, of course, the turkey. When you take your first bite, you ask yourself, “Does anyone even like turkey?” The cranberry sauce is sickly sweet, the turkey dry, the brussel sprouts, well, they are brussel sprouts. My advice to all you intrepid Thanksgiving eaters — stick to the mashed potatoes and pie, or skip the whole meal (you’re “on a diet”) and grab a bowl of cereal afterwards.

All joking aside, let’s not forget what Thanksgiving is really about. Remember that third grade play where we all dressed up like Pilgrims and turkeys and re-enacted the 66-day (I bet you  have forgotten that tidbit) journey of the Mayflower? Thanksgiving is, after all, the celebration of the harvest feast that occurred after the Pilgrims survived with the help of their Native American counterparts. Debates rage about what was eaten at the first Thanksgiving, and whether turkey was even on the menu, but who cares?

In in a world where compromise and the simple, but powerful action of helping someone in need seems to be fading (take our political scene as prime example), it is essential that we remember this country’s roots and behave accordingly. So, whether your Thanksgiving plan involves a large family gathering or a few friends eating sushi, do the right thing and make it meaningful.

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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