Thanksgiving Traditions

Ann Kopecky

Ann Kopecky

In 1621, Pilgrims and American Indians enjoyed the first Thanksgiving feast near Plymouth, Mass.

Three centuries later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Today the tradition continues as many families will gather around the table Thursday to enjoy a feast of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie.

For many SDSU students, faculty and staff, the holiday means two days of vacation, a large meal and time to spend with family.

Miranda Towerton, a senior horticulture major from Grand Forks, N.D., said that she enjoys the relaxation of the holiday.

“It’s a time to eat and to be with family,” Towerton said.

Towerton plans to head home for the holiday. It will be the first time she has been home since school started.

“It’s time out of the dorms and time back home,” Towerton said.

Towerton said that she is also looking forward to seeing her mom, catching up on homework and of course the meal.

“We’ll have turkey and ham because my mom and step-dad like ham and I like turkey,” Towerton said.

Adam Bode, a senior ag-business major from Faulkton, will also be turning away from the turkey dinner for ham as it has become a tradition in his family.

Bode said that he plans to eat, work and go hunting during the holiday.

“It’s a time to relax and spend time with family and glutton ourselves,” Bode said.

Bode also said that he is looking forward to spending time with his parents.

“It’s a nice break from school and I get to pester my parents,” Bode said.

Jenn Betten, a junior from Spearfish, plans on heading home for a quiet Thanksgiving.

“All I’m doing is going home on Tuesday night and then it’s just a quiet Thanksgiving with my immediate family,” Betten said.

On Friday, Betten will drive to Willow Lake to celebrate another Thanksgiving, this time with her boyfriend and his family.

“I look forward to going home and visiting with my family and of course the dinner,” Betten said.

The dinner is an important part of the holiday and one of the reasons Tara Welch, a senior nursing major from Gillette, Wyom., will also be celebrating Thanksgiving twice.

Last weekend, Welch made a Thanksgiving dinner with her roomates and close friends. On Thursday, Welch will celebrate the holiday with her family.

“So I actually get to have two Thanksgiving dinners,” Welch said.

Welch said that she enjoys the holiday for the meal and the time she will get to spend with her family.

One of the traditions of the Welch family is to go around the table before the meal and say what each one is thankful for.

Welch and her family also spend quality time together during the holiday, watching football and playing cards.

“I think Thanksgiving is an important holiday to celebrate because there is no other holiday to gourge yourself on food and to spend time with your family,” Welch said.