Katherine Snyder, Winfield High School
When we think about Thanksgiving, some things that might pop into our minds are football, a few days off school and the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. We might even think of shopping since Black Friday is the next day.Then, of course, there is the food. On Thanksgiving, families sit around the dinner table with a feast of homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and more. They share the tasty turkey, which gives the holiday its nickname of Turkey Day.Thanksgiving also serves to remind everyone that Christmas is right around the corner. After all, the time from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day is known as the holiday season.But is all of that what Thanksgiving is really about?
No. Thanksgiving is a holiday in which we give thanks for all that has been given to us each year.It's about visiting family and sharing traditions. Thanksgiving is a time to not only celebrate with our families but also to celebrate our families. Families nowadays are being taken for granted.Thanksgiving is sometimes taken for granted, too. It's seen as a day for the things listed above -- football, food, shopping, time off school -- and not as a time for being thankful.Let's not forget that in the beginning, when the Pilgrims came to America, the first Thanksgiving was to give thanks for the harvest that was given to them after a brutal winter. They celebrated their thankfulness with the Native Americans who had helped them during this time.President George Washington was the first to make Thanksgiving a holiday, but it wasn't until President Lincoln that the date was set in the fall. It was 1941 when President Roosevelt signed a bill that declared Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of each November.That bill made Thanksgiving a federal holiday. If Roosevelt thought Thanksgiving was important enough to make it a national holiday, shouldn't we care enough to observe it?In these modern times, many families are growing apart and traditions are being tossed aside. Sure you can celebrate Thanksgiving because you get a day off or because it's a day to pig out, but you should also celebrate this holiday to remember the happy memories you have with your friends or family. Giving thanks to your loved ones is what Thanksgiving is truly about.