Thanksgiving is a time of year when families come together with visions of football, turkey, and of course Pilgrims.
This event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the new world in 1621. This feast lasted three days and was attended by both Native Americans and Pilgrims.
Although the discovery of this new world was followed by some unfortunate events, this day has evolved into a cultural experience for families around the country. Families from all backgrounds gather together to celebrate and give thanks for all that they have been blessed with.
Some of our Bright Kids tutors and staff were asked to share a few words about their family traditions each Thanksgiving. What does your family do each year? Share your story on our Facebook page or tag us in your Thanksgiving posts on Instagram. Happy Thanksgiving!
Sara Javed, Operations Manager
My extended family is Muslim and my immediate family is not, we always have two turkeys. One is Halal and the other is a regular one from Shoprite- better known as “the devil” turkey. For those of you who don’t know, a Halal turkey is a turkey that has been raised and slaughtered in accordance with Islamic principles. The word “halal” means “permissible” in Arabic.
Morgan Prime, Director of Curriculum
Ever since I could remember, the night before Thanksgiving, an extremely casual family dinner of self-serve chili and laughter is had to offset the formal nature of our Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Taylor Kelly, Director of Marketing and School Partnerships
Growing up, my whole family would meet at my grandparents in Alabama for Thanksgiving.
Bige Doruk, Founder and CEO
Our family goes to Vermont every Thanksgiving and eat at a local restaurant. We go hiking and we spend the day with each other. Since we all live in the city, Thanksgiving is a time for us to escape the chaos and bond as a family in the serenity of the mountains.
Theresa Aristomene, Human Resources Assistant
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Although my family usually has to work, I love having sleepovers with my closest friends and spending the day cooking, eating, drinking and laughing! My loved ones are what I'm most grateful for every year.
Taylor Martin, Tutor
Every Thanksgiving I watch the National Dog Show (in my pajamas, obviously) and dream of having an apartment larger than a shoe box so that I could actually have a dog of my own.
E.A. Burlingame, Tutor
One of my Thanksgiving holiday traditions is to make sweets from my childhood. I especially like making rice crispy treats and lemon sugar cookies. Butter features heavily in both.
Ysmar Pena, Operations Assistant
On Thanksgiving my family has karaoke night and we sing classics from our distinct countries. We also play different table games and share funny and old stories with each other.
Jessica Han, Tutor
We wear sweatpants, order takeout, and watch Korean dramas all day.
Chalmers Barnes, Operations Manager
I always visit my family and try to spend as much time as possible with my new baby niece. I try to make time for my friends and let them know I like them and am thankful for them. I also make turkey sandwiches out of leftovers and enjoy that more than actual Thanksgiving dinner.
Lizzy Lincoln, Tutor
For my family, Thanksgiving was the day that we put up Christmas decorations. My mom and I would start cooking at around 7AM with the parade on, and my dad would go into the living room to wrestle with putting up the Christmas tree and stringing it with lights.
Crystal Soto, Tutor
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it's a selfless time to spend with my family and closest friends. Thanksgiving lasts all weekend in my house, as my nieces and nephews stay at my mom's, and we watch movies, go shopping, and just enjoy each other's company until Saturday night. We even brave Black Friday, since most people now shop online or on Thanksgiving night, so the mall isn't too crowed anymore.
Sean O'Bryan, Tutor
Every thanksgiving, my family hosts our extended family. We have both my mom and dad's sides of the family over, so there are as many as forty people. One tradition we have is that every year my grandmother comes over to the house early, and my brother, sister and I help her make the dumplings while my mom cooks the turkey. A lot of my cousins, like me, live out of town, so thanksgiving is a great time for us all to see each other and catch up.
Keyosha Murray, Senior Account Manager
Every year my family and I make a large dinner together and drink lots of Coquito, a coconut-based alcoholic beverage traditionally served in Puerto Rico. We listen to music, laugh, and talk, and this year will be my nephew's first Thanksgiving celebration with us!