As the third Thursday of November rolls around, grocery stores become madhouses as people try desperately to find last minute desserts or turkeys. Airports cramp up trying to get people home for the holiday, and families drive each other crazy after spending a little too much time together.
This special Thursday is none other than Thanksgiving, the day when we come together with friends or family and celebrate what we are thankful for over turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing. The day is often overshadowed by Christmas, as people in stores and commercials begin promoting the sales for gifts right as Halloween ends. Although people look forward to the food, the annual NFL football game, the Black Friday shopping, what really matters is that we take a moment to remember what the holiday is about. It is not just about having a half day of school the day before and then a long weekend afterward.
It is a time to come together and give thanks and be grateful for what we have. “I’m thankful for double stuffed Oreo cookies, iPhone earbuds, and all of my amazing incredible and intelligent students,” social studies teacher Alexander Parker said.
Besides being thankful for having food and people, animals and pets can be thanked too. “I’m thankful for my kitty. She’s so tiny and cute and makes my day when I get home and hug her,” junior Soraya Abediyeh.
More often than not, we forget how fortunate we are to have family and friends and have the opportunity to go to a school like Wootton. “I’m thankful for the opportunities Wootton has given me like the ability to learn, play football, and have the resources to prepare me for my future,” senior Jack Foley said.
Besides announcing what we are thankful for, to truly celebrate the holiday we can put our words into action. Due to recent natural disasters and tragedies such as the hurricane in Puerto Rico, it is a good time to help raise money or food for relief. Volunteering at soup kitchens or cooking meals for the homeless are also considerate ways to spread the holiday cheer and spirit. “My family and I always go prepare and serve food at the local homeless shelter on Thanksgiving,” senior Emma Abid said.
Another way to help is donating food or winter clothing to drives. The drives give meals to families who can’t afford a turkey on Thanksgiving or jackets to stay warm in the winter weather. “Every year my mom’s church makes Thanksgiving boxes, so you get a list of things to buy for a family of four. We put together meals and write a check for them to buy a turkey so that a needy family can still have a celebratory Thanksgiving,” English teacher Dominique Parker said.
We may say we acknowledge what we are thankful for, but actually helping other people and understanding what other people go through year round, makes all the difference.