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Thanksgiving Traditions

The holidays are a time full of good food, laughter and unique family-created traditions. A few Bob Jones University students shared their favorite Thanksgiving traditions.

Thanksgiving is senior English major Amelia Bailey’s favorite holiday. With no stress over gift giving or mall shopping, Bailey said Thanksgiving is like Christmas but with less worry and pressure. It is a time when she gets to just relax and spend time with family.

One of her favorite Thanksgiving traditions is listening to everyone in her family say what they are thankful for. Her mother always has a unique and practical answer.

“My mom is always thankful for indoor plumbing,” Bailey said. “Sinks and pipes, that’s what she’s always happy about.” Bailey also enjoys all the good homemade food she gets to eat during Thanksgiving. The food can vary depending on how much of her family is there to celebrate, but croissants and pecan pie are two things Bailey really loves.

Good food is a staple of Thanksgiving, and no celebration would be complete without it. Nate Robinson, a freshman ministry and leadership major, considers food to be a prominent element of Thanksgiving.

Robinson’s family is from the Caribbean island of Barbados, so they like to enjoy dishes like rice and peas, macaroni pie and coleslaw, along with the traditional Thanksgiving foods. Mauby, a traditional Barbados drink made by boiling the bark of a Mauby tree and mixing it with water and sweetener, is a staple of the meal. Sweet potato casserole with pecans and cinnamon is Robinson’s personal favorite. 

With food being so important to his family, Robinson loves to help his mom in the kitchen. 

“We always enjoyed cooking,” Robinson said. “We used to be really close overall before I came to college, . . . so now helping her is a special thing I can do.” Getting to spend time with family is an important part of Thanksgiving. 

For Emily Stevens, a freshman communication major, having all her family living close to each other in western Massachusetts means she gets to reconnect with everyone during the break.

Stevens celebrates with both sides of her family, sharing a feast of good food with her entire family. And when it comes to food, the family is willing to eat anything and everything. Stevens said she and her brother will load up on food, balancing plates like servers at a restaurant.

“You’ve got to try all these foods!” Stevens said. “There’s no point if you only like turkey and rolls.” But while Stevens loves all the food, her personal favorite is pineapple Jell-O. It’s a staple food of her family’s Thanksgiving that she has yet to see other families have.

Although Jason French is not going home to family this year, family is something French, a junior computer science major, enjoys about Thanksgiving. French typically spends Thanksgiving at his grandparents’ house with his mom’s side of the family, relaxing and enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal which includes his favorites, turkey and sparkling cider.

For a holiday that often gets lost in the shuffle between the excitement of Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving is a good time to see family again, especially when one has been away at college.

“For a lot of families, [Thanksgiving] helps to bring everybody together,” French said.