Grateful, Thankful, Blessed: My Thanksgiving Traditions


Jim Cox

This is our typical Thanksgiving turkey cooked on a ‘Big Green Egg.’

The Hilltopper Staff, over the next few days, will be sharing what this Thanksgiving means to them.

On this beautiful cold day, you walk into a warm room with even more joy. Dad’s yelling from downstairs for more help with the turkey, while Mom is trying to prepare all the sides. This is what you’ll see when you walk into my house on Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving means so much to me, even though I don’t show or say it. This is the one day of the year where I try to focus on what I’m thankful for and try to be a better person. Although this is the holiday where you can shove your face in food, this is the time where you should try to focus on what has happened in your life. I try to focus on the hard things that have happened to me these past few years. This holiday allows my family to have some loving traditions that brings my family together. 

This year my family will come over to our house again this year for dinner. Although most of my aunts and uncles go to their other relatives’ houses for a small dinner, the important thing is that we’re all together by the end of the night.  

Every year the night before Thanksgiving my family brines the turkey while jamming out to music my dad plays. Then we clean up the house and I help my mom make her homemade mashed potatoes. We take pictures on our porch with my family and it makes me laugh because my dog is so bad at being in pictures. He always looks away or tries to run after the people who walk past. 

When it comes to Thanksgiving, the day is pretty laid back. My family and I usually go to mass in the morning. Then we come home to have a big breakfast. We don’t do much other than watch the parade on TV. But once my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins come, then it gets pretty crazy. My dad stays outside watching the turkey while my mom and I stay inside baking the sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, corn, and green beans. I love cooking with my mom because I can bond with her while doing something I like to do. My favorite side we make are the rolls, which smell amazing when they come out of the oven. For dessert my grandma makes the pies. She makes cherry, apple, lemon meringue, and sometimes pumpkin. But cherry is my favorite, especially if you add whipped cream to it. 

The thing I love most about Thanksgiving is I get to spend time with my family, bake food, and share what I love most. This holiday helps remind me to be thankful for everything I have and it helps me respond to God’s greatness.