Happy Turkey Day

Jamison Lamp

Jamison Lamp

Thanksgiving may only be one day, but for SDSU students, it is steeped in tradition, ranging from the traditional to the ridiculous.

The first Thanksgiving is considered to be in 1621; however, it was not until years later that it became a national holiday. Magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale believed that a national day of Thanksgiving would help unify a nation being drug into the Civil War. It was her efforts of letter writing that urged President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, to make the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day. It was not until 1941 that Congress made it an official national holiday.

This year, Nov. 27 marks Thanksgiving.

“We, the Jensen Family, celebrate turkey day as a family,” said Andrew Jensen, a sophomore agriculture education and journalism major from Wakonda, S.D., said. “Sometimes we are at the farm in Wakonda, and then sometimes we gather at a sibling’s house in Sioux Falls, or wherever they are located.”

While some celebrate the day of thanks in a more traditional manner, others have put their own spin on the holiday.

“I play bingo with the elderly people at the care home my grandparents own,” said April Kane, a junior sociology major. “They win prizes like soaps or free scoops of ice cream.”

“We ‘celebrate’ only because we’d feel weird not celebrating, and it’s an excuse for my brother to come visit,” said Carmela Garcia, an advertising major originally from Uruguay.

While the first Thanksgiving meal was thought to be that of harvested vegetables and fruits, roasted goose and lobster, meals today have taken a more modern twist.

“We go to Huron. Coborn’s grocery store has a turkey deal; that’s where we get our meal,” said Nikki Brown, a sophomore journalism major.

“Last year, we went to Minneapolis to visit my brother and realized we had no turkey or reservations anywhere, and it was too late, so we got calzones at the Soho Café. It was the best Thanksgiving meal ever if you ask me; I’m not a huge fan of the Thanksgiving food, except for those mashed potatoes,” Garcia said.

Students find memories in time spent with their families.

“My sisters can make just about anything funny. It’s not a family gathering unless something comes out of my sister Emma’s nose,” Jensen said.

“I have 11 uncles and nine aunts, and they all have their own little quirks. I have a pretty fun family,” Carolyn Cypher, an animal science, pre-veterinary sophomore from Wolsey, S.D., said.

“Literally all my relatives are crazy, one cousin brings a new girlfriend every year,” Brown said.

“Let’s just say that all of my family listens to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour guys all the time,” Amanda Lindsey, a pre-veterinary, animal science major from Spirit Lake, Iowa, said.

With large families, some have to resort to two tables, one for kids and one for adults.

“I’m at that stage in my life where I don’t know which table I belong to,” Cypher said.

“We used to have a ‘kids’ and ‘adults’ table, but my mom did away with it a few years ago so my nieces can learn from us, instead of sitting in the corner by themselves,” Jensen said.

“We have always had a kids table in the kitchen and then a bigger adults table in the living room until last year. Now we are all old enough to where we can’t really be kids anymore. We all eat squished at the adult’s table,” Lindsey said.

Not only do students have family and feast to look forward to, but there is also the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“We turn it on and sometimes watch while getting ready,” Jensen said.

“We usually get bored with the parade, so we watch the dog show,” Brown said.

In 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place with animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, three million people attend the parade with another 44 million viewers watching from home, history.com reports.

In more recent years, Black Friday has bombarded Thanksgiving with sale ads and early morning shoppers.

“My family is not really a fan of huge crowds. We aren’t anti-social, but we like to take our time and not be shoved around or pressured into something,” Lindsey said.

“We usually only go to Wal-Mart if they have good electronic sales,” Brown said. “Last year my grandma bought a 46-inch high definition, plasma screen TV.”

“A couple years ago, I was going to attempt to get up and go with a few friends, but I couldn’t convince myself to get out of bed at 4 a.m.,” Jensen said.

Another event synonymous with Thanksgiving is the annual football game. As history.com documents, the first Thanksgiving football game was played in 1934 between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.

“We usually play cards, tell stories, play and watch football,” Cypher said.