Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson

Thanksgiving is a day reserved for reflecting on your life and being grateful for all you have. The holiday has evolved, though, to the point that it means something different to just about everyone.

For some, Thanksgiving is all about the food. In fact, the focus towards food has led to some calendars referring to Thanksgiving as “Turkey Day.”

The Thanksgiving food sales for the food service industry are huge.

Although it’s not a commercial holiday like Christmas, sales for Thanksgiving at Econo Foods rival those of Christmas, says Scott Haugen, EconoFoods store director.

EconoFoods even has a special deal allowing customers to go the deli and purchase pre-made food for the holiday. That isn’t going over as well as the company would like, Haugen says. People still choose to make their own food.

Some students view Thanksgiving as an opportunity to go home.

Senior Jason Fuccello, a media production major from Hamilton, N.J., plans to go home this Saturday.

“I fly out as soon as I can,” Fuccello says.

He comes from a close-knit, Italian family. Even his extended family lives within 15 minutes of his house. The dinner, Fuccello says, represents a time to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

“When you sit down to dinner, everyone is on the same page and they put aside whatever problems they have,” Fuccello says.

Sophomore Elizabeth Plummer would like to fly home to Ceres, Calif., for Thanksgiving, but it’s just not worth it to purchase a plane ticket for a four-day break, she says.

Instead of going home to Ceres, Plummer plans to go home with one of her friends.

“It means a lot that they would invite me into their family during a big holiday,” Plummer says.

It can be awkward, Plummer says, as she is an outsider. But it’s better than spending Thanksgiving in the dorms.

Yet, critics will argue that the traditional Thanksgiving values have been pushed aside for the commercial purposes of Christmas.

Some department stores like the local Wal-Mart set up Christmas displays as early as the day after Halloween, says Dennis Tramp, Wal-Mart store manager.

“Some of it is a space issue, and the timing seems to be right about when people start thinking about Christmas,” Tramp says.

By setting up Christmas displays before Thanksgiving, department stores can capitalize on the day after Thanksgiving – the busiest shopping day of the year.

Statistically, the day after Thanksgiving is actually the busiest and most profitable day for the Brookings Wal-Mart.

“I think it’s just one of those specials,” Tramp says. “People made it that way over the years by making it an event for the family or themselves.”