What are you Thankful for?

What are you Thankful for?

This Thanksgiving my parents drove in from Wisconsin, and we had an improvised dinner at my Grandparents house, who both are very immobile at this point. My aunt and all her siblings and their little kids came over for a feast and fun. I asked some of my little cousins what they were thankful for, … Read more

This Thanksgiving my parents drove in from Wisconsin, and we had an improvised dinner at my Grandparents house, who both are very immobile at this point. My aunt and all her siblings and their little kids came over for a feast and fun. I asked some of my little cousins what they were thankful for, and their sporadic answers spread among 5 little ones were…”God and Jesus, candy!, all my clothes, eating, family, the friends I meet, everything, I’m thankful for me I’m thankful for you, the things that I love and the things that I don’t like.” I was thankful that I got to sit at the kids table, yet again…

In all reality it was very nice seeing so much family, from my new 2-week-old little cousin all the way to my 90-year-old Grandpa. Looking back, here is the Thanksgiving history according to the History Channel. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations. Did you know that lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims’ menu?!

What are you thankful for? I would say I am thankful for life, health, family, and grateful about the freedoms we enjoy and the gratitude for all the material advantages and comforts we have. Also, for challenges, because who knows where I’d be today without them.

Thankful

Thankful

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! Five things I am most thankful for this holiday season: My family – especially my new baby cousin, Ava, who will be celebrating her first Thanksgiving this year! The wonderful friends I have made at Mount Union The opportunity to study abroad next semester My student blogging position (who else gets paid to … Read more

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Five things I am most thankful for this holiday season:

  1. My family – especially my new baby cousin, Ava, who will be celebrating her first Thanksgiving this year!
  2. The wonderful friends I have made at Mount Union
  3. The opportunity to study abroad next semester
  4. My student blogging position (who else gets paid to talk about everything they love?!)
  5. The shirtless Taylor Lautner scene in Breaking Dawn Part 2 (it’s a must see, girls!)

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that sometimes I need a holiday to remind me of how much I have to be thankful for, but I am very grateful for the reminder. Every year I look forward to waking up Thanksgiving morning, grabbing some blankets and cuddling up next to the fireplace to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year will be no exception.

As I was thinking of everything I am grateful for this year, I thought it would be nice to remind the people I love most how thankful I am for them. So, I decided to do some arts and crafts! I found an idea I loved on Pinterest and got to work. Making holiday cards for your family and friends would be a great way to pass away the last two days of class until Thanksgiving break! All you need is some tape, scissors, decorative scrap paper and some ribbon (which is optional, of course).

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

scraps

 

cards

thankful for you

 

Thanksgiving Battle Royal

Thanksgiving Battle Royal

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Knights' Tournament

Thanksgiving is now over. Turkey has been eaten and we are going to return to classes. As the holiday break winds down and the pre-exam jitters gear up, now would be a good time to take a little breather and reflect on this past week.

Thanksgiving is, for the most part, a time to eat. A time you all sit down and eat. Together. With people you’re related too. Usually from out of town. And, to quote Modern Family, “What’s Thanksgiving without the competitions?” And indeed, there will be competitions.

The I-Can-Eat-More-Than-You Competition
A simple, yet classic, competition. This battle is often never spoken of, and the winner is never publicly acknowledged. However, the rules are perfectly clear: he or she, whoever eats the most food during the first hour of the Thanksgiving meal, will be the winner.

The Monopolized-Conversation-The-Longest Competition
Slightly more subtle than the previous competition, the MCTLC contest requires wit and cunning verbal skills. The rules are simple: all you have to do is keep a group of four people or larger involved in conversation for as long as possible. The topic of the conversation is up to you. It can be as mundane or exciting as you wish, but know that the longer you keep your group engaged, the more points you shall receive. This one is usually won by my great aunt.

The Swag-O-Meter
We all have that one relative. You know, the one that you see once a year, and that one time happens to fall on a Thursday late in November. The one who, due to their lack of appearance any other time throughout the year, feels the need to make a vastly unnecessary, yet thoroughly enjoyable, huge entrance. To win this competition, one must not shy away from loudly announcing his or her presence in any particular room, even if you’ve already been in there once before. You must also have no fear interrupting conversations just to get that greeting handshake or hug in to those loved ones. Be bold, be brave and you’ll take home the Swag-O-Meter trophy with ease.

Those seem to be the largest of the competitions I run into on Thanksgiving day, and undoubtedly, each family will have their own special events as well. If you managed to, or know someone who did, grab one of these top spots at your Thanksgiving. Feel free to let me know in the comments below and share your story!

What it really means to be Thankful

What it really means to be Thankful

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This past Thanksgiving, I was grateful for many things. My parents came from out of town to spend a weekend full of family, feasting, football (Go Packers!), laughter and plenty of turkey comas. I also got to experience my first Black Friday working at the Nike Outlet at Aurora Farms. This definitely didn’t help me get over my sickness, but at least I was able to make it on television on News Net 5! My friend sharing with me a great SNL video of Will Ferrell and Chris Katan singing as Air Supply about Thanksgiving time capped off the weekend. A definite great way to end the weekend!

I also came across a recent photo my brother shared with me, which he found on Deviant Art. This really opened my eyes about what you really should be thankful for. I hope you find some meaning in this as well!

“If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have any money in the bank, your wallet and some spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture or the horrible pangs of starvation, you are luckier than 500 million people alive going through this suffering. If you can read this message you are more fortunate than the 3 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.”

What are you thankful for this Holiday season?

Remember to Always Give Thanks

Remember to Always Give Thanks

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The Thanksgiving holiday is one that many people look forward to as it is a day in which you are able to see family members that you may not have seen in a while, watch some exciting displays of football and, of course, a day where you can eat as much as you want and not be judged by others. What many people don’t realize or tend to forget is that the Thanksgiving holiday is about much more than just that. I mean think of the word Thanksgiving itself … it contains two meaningful words – thanks and giving. And, that’s exactly what Thanksgiving is about. It’s about giving thanks and simply appreciating what you have.

Often enough, people get so caught up in their everyday lives that they take things for granted, forgetting to acknowledge and appreciate what they do have. People ask for more and more, especially as the Christmas season rolls in, instead of being grateful for what they do have. Many people in today’s world are less fortunate and well off. Many cannot even afford three meals a day or daily necessities such as clothes or toothpaste. Therefore, it’s important to stop and give thanks for what you do have not only on this wonderful holiday but everyday. So what are you thankful for?

Well, I’m thankful for many things. First off, I am thankful for my family as I would not be where I am or who I am today without them. They are my entire world and support system. Secondly, I am thankful for my amazing friends. They truly are the best that anyone could ever ask for. They are there for me no matter what and make my life meaningful, and they are the true meaning of friendship! Thirdly, I am thankful for the wonderful relationships I have made here at Mount Union and for the unique opportunities I have been given. Mount Union has opened many doors for me and presented me with many experiences that I know have and will change my life. Lastly, I am thankful to be alive and be where I am today.

So what did you give thanks for this Thanksgivng?

Thankful for your “Family”

Thankful for your “Family”

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This is a response to Families Don’t Always Share The Same Genes and Thankful November.

Thanksgiving is a time for a dinner with your family. For most of us, we don’t have dinner with the same family every year. My family travels to have dinner with different parts of the family, so it is never the same Thanksgiving dinner. For some students, they don’t even go home for Thanksgiving because of a sport. Who are they going to have Thanksgiving with?

There is a turkey feast that is held every Sunday before Thanksgiving. It is basically a Thanksgiving dinner, but for brunch. I completely forgot about it this year. I had walked to Kresge Dining Commons alone and sat with two friends I just happened to walk in with. If you wanted to carve your own turkey, you had to reserve a table ahead of time with a few other people. I didn’t realize it until I sat down about just how thankful I was that I had friends to sit with. Usually I am able to sit alone while eating, but for this particular meal, I was so grateful I sat with people. It was a quick meal but it was one that was more memorable than most.

I will be going home for Thanksgiving, but some people aren’t. It is a lonely time when you aren’t with your family on a holiday. Holidays are known for being with your family and when you aren’t, it is definitely a downer. Some people will have practice and a variety of other things going on during Thanksgiving break. This campus will seem empty and there won’t be much to do.

Thanksgiving also is a time to be thankful, be thankful for those that surround you every day. They are your friends and your family, and they are people you would do almost anything for. Family doesn’t always share the same genes, but be thankful for the ones that don’t have the same genes. Those people surround you every single day. You have to realize that you see your friends at school more often than your family at home.

I could go on forever about things I am thankful for, but I won’t for the sake of your attention span. November is known as No-Shave November and Thankful November. I care more about Thankful November simply because if I didn’t shave, my facial hair would look gross. I’m thankful I don’t have to shave every day.

Seriously though … think of everything you are thankful and grateful for.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas, that’s the holiday coming up this week, right? I mean, I’ve only been hearing Christmas music since November 1, so it must be pretty soon, right? Or is there another holiday coming up… ummm… I think I remember turkey being involved and maybe some pumpkin pie. I don’t remember what it’s called though because it’s being so overshadowed! Panksgiving? Sanksgiving? Ganksgiving? … uhhhh Hanksgiving? … Thanksgiving? That’s it!! But really, what’s with forgetting completely about this holiday and jumping straight to Christmas?

I remember when I was little, decorating for Christmas didn’t come until December 1. As the years progressed, my family moved it to the day after Thanksgiving because we could ensure everyone would be home then, and that’s still where we’re at I think. I’ve seen Christmas decorations going up for the past couple weeks and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! And Christmas music, man, that has been on as long as I can remember. Now, I’m not trying to be hypocritical because I am currently listening to my holiday station on Pandora, BUT I just started listening to it this week. I think we’re all forgetting to appreciate Thanksgiving because Christmas is overshadowing it. We do need to remember this important holiday!

I’m not completely against Christmas music starting early, though. As I said before, I’m listening to it and it’s putting me in such a cheery mood! On top of that, I think Christmas music puts people in the mood to Christmas shop early, which eliminates scrambling on Christmas Eve to remember everyone’s presents (like I always do!). I haven’t always been able to see the good in early playing of Christmas music, though. I was a complete disbeliever of it happening in November until I was forced to see the upside of it last year when my grandmother passed away in early November. Christmas had always been her favorite holiday. She would sing along to the tunes without a care in the world (like what she sounded like to everyone around her!). My mom (like myself) thought Christmas music the first week of November was just preposterous, but my grandma convinced her to play it and just for that day, my Grandma had her own Christmas. It meant the world to me when my mom told me she got to live in her favorite season again, even if it was for just a few days.

Not trying to be a downer! But I wanted to investigate the pros along with the cons of Christmas music extremely early. In case you all aren’t already in the mood, here is a little Bieber for your fever.