Giving thanks: Students reflect on food, gratitude

For University of Puget Sound students, Thanksgiving Break will take place from Nov. 27–Dec. 1. Some students will be heading home to their families; others will be enjoying a fun Thanksgiving with friends.

Sarah Josepha Hale, author of the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb,” was the person who made Thanksgiving a national holiday. For nearly 20 years she lobbied Congress, writing letters to five different presidents and annual editorials on the subject. Finally, she convinced President Abraham Lincoln that such a holiday would unify the country following the Civil War.
On Oct. 3, 1863, Thanksgiving was made a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November.

“I’ll be heading to my friend’s house and we’re going to have Thanksgiving there,” freshman Jen Madera said.
“I’m taking the train down to Portland and my parents and brother are driving up. We’re going to spend Thanksgiving in Portland and I’m really excited because I’ve never been there,” freshman Mary Ferreira-Wallace said.

Other students plan to stay at school. “I’m staying here—but my friend from home is coming to visit me!” freshman Hester Poe said.
Yet others have slightly more unique plans. “I’m gonna go visit my first cousin once-removed who lives in Vancouver, Washington,” freshman Jake Snyder-Hansen said.
“I’m gonna go home and my momma is going to smoke a turkey,” freshman Marisa Christensen said.
“I’m going to go home, make tamales and eat a bunch of food and celebrate Hannukah!” freshman Kelsee Levey said.

Many students have favorite Thanksgiving foods that they cannot wait to indulge in. Some students enjoy traditional foods. “Definitely sweet potatoes are my favorite!” Poe said.
“My grandma’s stuffing is the best!” freshman Cassidy Lenseigne said.
Turkey is the most common Thanksgiving food; about 91 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, with about 280 million turkeys sold every holiday season. 20 percent of cranberries consumed in the U.S. are consumed on Thanksgiving.
Some students enjoy nontraditional foods. “My mom makes these green beans with carmelized onions and brown sugar sauce,” Madera said.
“I like this weird combination of cranberries, sauce and stuffing,” Ferreira-Wallace said.
“I love potato latkes,” Levey said.

Students here at the University have a lot to be thankful for, their loved ones in particular. “I’m thankful for my awesome roommate!” Poe said.
“I’m thankful for my parents because they let me go here,” Snyder-Hansen said.
“I’m thankful for all the support I get from my roommates and my floormates as well,” Ferreira-Wallace said. “I also love the community of people I work with at CHWS.”
“I’m thankful for the study parties I have [with my friends],” Madera said. “And I’m thankful to be going home, spending time with my parents and having time off school!”

Many students are thankful for non-family related blessings as well.  “I’m thankful for financial aid!” Christensen said.
“I’m thankful for the delicious food at the S.U.B.!” freshman Katherine Hall said.
“I’m thankful for my job at CHWS and I’m thankful for all the services they provide for our student body because all the student bodies need it!” Ferreira-Wallace said.
For others, everything is a blessing.
“I’m thankful for life!” Poe said.