Thanksgiving: Tur-key to my heart

by Angelina Burrows, TALON Reporter

The night of November 24, an array of various dishes will fill my entire table. Each person will be diving into as many plates as they can reach from my grandmother’s salad to the chicken adobo my mother spent hours making. Our Thanksgiving dinner is a fusion of two cultures, vastly different cuisines, yet cohesively delicious. With my chopsticks on one side and my fork on the other, I jump right in.

Being half asian and half white, typically I’m either enjoying my mother’s homemade hot pot or ordering an animal style cheeseburger from In n Out. Either way, both cultures are rarely represented on the same table. Thanksgiving’s versatility creates a place for both pieces of my cultural identity to blend together, creating a traditional feast that welcomes both sides of my family’s customs. 

From being surrounded by the familiar faces of friends and family filling their stomachs with flavorful food, to competing for the last green bean on the plate, Thanksgiving creates an experience like no other. While other holidays, like Halloween, are more spirited in their celebration, Thanksgiving promotes a sense of connection that other holidays often cannot easily emulate. Over the years, Thanksgiving has grown into a holiday celebrating appreciation and gratitude, and the act of bonding over a plate of food, while simple, creates a moment to relate to one another. For me, Thanksgiving is the best holiday — not only for its lasting memories but also for the ideal it signifies. 

As the baby at the table, sometimes it can be intimidating to start conversations with my older family members. However, after a bit of time the tension eases away and conversation can become more natural. Last year in particular, having not even finished freshman year, I was inexperienced in the ways of high school. My cousins, being seasoned veterans, took the opportunity to give me some advice. From choosing the best classes, to properly managing my time, our Thanksgiving feast became an opportunity for them to share their expertise, and allowed us to bond over our school experiences.

While other holidays are more spirited in their celebration, Thanksgiving promotes a sense of connection that other holidays can never hope to emulate.

As a student, it is easy to get lost in the pressure of school. Like many, I have succumbed to procrastination and been forced to seclude myself in my room, zealously cramming and studying for a test the next day, or spending the last bit of energy I have finishing an essay due that night. The chaotic scrambling of trying to force out as many ideas into the paper as possible sharply contrasts the warm and inviting atmosphere at the dinner table. The tension and stress built up by school are finally released as I get a moment of relaxation in the comfort of my family’s presence. 

However, catching up with family is not the only notable trait of Thanksgiving. The mouth-watering platters of foods lined across the table create a major part of the Thanksgiving experience. The feeling of connecting with my relatives under the smell of perfectly seasoned chicken adobo and stuffed turkey creates a blissful satisfaction that cannot be recreated anywhere else. The appetizing aroma of the entrees are a product of my mother’s tireless work when preparing the food. Hours before anyone arrives my mother carefully dices the carrots, boils the eggs, meticulously measures the brown and white rice, and chooses the perfect spices to match the pork. Knowing that behind each ingredient was a series of calculated decisions on what best seasoning to use, or how long to air fry the drumsticks, the day becomes even more special.

While Halloween has the reputation of being one of the most festive holidays, Thanksgiving is unmatched in its ability to bring people together through its main principles of gratitude and appreciation.