The holiday season is the perfect time to show thanks and gratitude to the people or things in life that we are grateful for.

Yes, the Thanksgiving holiday comes with the tradition of tasty food. However, it is the giving and appreciation aspect that should be celebrated.

For many people, including myself, the first thing that comes to mind is my family — the people in my life who give me constant support and love, without any question, through the moments of disappointment and the moments of accomplishment.

They are the ones I can count on when I need reassurance or compassion, and for that I’m grateful.

People seem to overlook important, everyday things in their lives that they should be giving thanks daily for.

For many, these things are expected, such as having a plate of food for dinner every night, or new clothes for going back to school. Even having a roof over their head day after day.

Not everyone has these items and it’s recognized; however, teens who do have these privileges should thank the people who provide them.

Simply saying the two words — ”thank you” — to parents can let them know how thankful their child is for all that they do. Even helping them with tasks around the house that we kids are lucky enough to have can make a day easier.

I am, and always will be, thankful for my parents and all that they do for me.

— Sophia Mettner 

Appreciation for many things, most of all family 

Where did Thanksgiving go? Somehow, it got lost in the holiday season.

Everyone decorates and plans for Halloween, but when all the candy is gone and the leaves blow away, what comes next?  When did Thanksgiving become the in-between holiday?

Everyone thinks about all the sweet presents and what’s going to be in their stockings that year for Christmas. And then just around the corner is the new year. Thanksgiving is a day that we should stop and give thanks for everything and everyone that we have.

I am thankful for the family I have, especially my mom for she knows what’s best for me. We are two very different people, but we balance each other out perfectly. She helps me with my homework, and she gives me the best advice anyone could give me. Yes, we fight and bicker, but I would never want a different mom.

I am thankful for everything I have, too. There are some people who don’t even have money for food or a house to live in. The fact that I get food on my table on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year makes me tremendously happy and thankful.

And it’s not just the food, it’s the things my parents buy me and what I get for Christmas. I am so glad that have those things even when I don’t need them.

In all, I am grateful for my life. I am grateful for my brothers and my parents and my dog. I am thankful for all the things we have, the food we eat, and the house we live in. I am happy with everything that’s in my life, especially the people in it.

— Sydney Faber

Thanks, mom, for all that you do 

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to show appreciation to the people and items that we are grateful for. Whether it be a meal on the dinner table every night, a supportive family and group of friends, or a roof over our head, we should take time to say thanks for it.

Therefore, this Thanksgiving I am thankful to have such a kind, hardworking, and courageous mother. My mom has been with me through every hardship that I have faced along with all of the success that I have encountered, and I could never repay her for that.

Growing up without a consistent father figure in my life has led my mom to taking on the role of both mom and dad, and I could never thank her enough for doing so. With working long hours at the hair salon, picking me up from daycare, and making sure I have a meal on the dinner table every night, I’m not sure how she managed to do it.

My mom has always promised, ever since I was very young, that I could tell her anything and everything without having to worry about anyone finding out about them, which led her to becoming one of the few people that I seek advice from.

I’m very grateful for all that my mom has done for me, and I hope we can continue to have a close relationship for many years to come.

— Kalli Gillespie

Black Friday shopping is ridiculous tradition

Of course, everyone is thankful for what they have.  At least, I hope, because that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

What makes Thanksgiving a little bit a waste of time is that every Thanksgiving, everyone is going to watch football, gather around a table with family, eat turkey and be as thankful as they’ll ever be. Then, within 24 hours, they turn right back around and spend a truckload of money and fight for their lives to get what they want.

That’s pathetic and makes no sense. How can you be thankful and then go out and feel the need that you need more NOW? Would you rather stay home and be perfectly safe or get tramples over like deer running you over? If you’re actually thankful, you wouldn’t do that, unless you’re Christmas shopping because the best deals are on for what you want to get for Christmas. That’s the only valid excuse, if you will.

Pick one: You’re either thankful, or you’re not thankful and greedy. As the pastor at my church said, “We are Thanksgiving people living in a Black Friday world.”

— Greg Bintz 

A ‘new’ tradition brings  importance of family time 

Before I came to the United States as an exchange student, I made a ton of preparations and arrangements to learn about the country itself. I was told that most of it I would witness while I’m over here – as a big part of the experience – starting with Halloween. Going into November, the environment and surroundings drastically changed, and people started asking me about what I’m doing with my host family for Thanksgiving or if we celebrate it back in Sweden.

This made me realize how important it is that the Americans have this day here.

I see how important the tradition of sitting down with your family and eating food actually is. Because of the time-driven society the they live in and because of the “grab-and-go” concept, Thanksgiving is needed here in the states in a way that we don’t back home.

I thought of how thankful I am to have grown up in a country where the importance of eating dinner at the table as a family is highly valued. I’ve missed that over here. At the same time, I am humbly grateful for the opportunity I’ve gotten to actually come to this place and get away from everything back home.

I take this exchange year for granted every day, and having an actual day where I’m supposed to be thankful for all of that makes my heart warm. It’s difficult each and every day to thank everyone around you for all that they have done, so the tradition of Thanksgiving is very important and also something I am looking forward to sharing with everyone when I go back home again.

— Micaela Danielsson