Teachers’ Thanksgiving traditions

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Teachers’ Thanksgiving traditions


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Thanksgiving has always had a warm place in my heart. The first recollection I have of Thanksgiving was when I was at a city of Bellaire Thanksgiving celebration. The organizers of the event had set up the game Cowboys and Indians. I was an Indian girl dressed up as a Native American. I kept telling my parents I wanted to be an Indian, and they laughed and told me I already was an Indian in some sense. Ever since then, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday where I spend my day watching football with my family while feasting. 

As most high school students know, the first Thanksgiving was in 1621 when the Pilgrims came on the Mayflower to the Plymouth colony to escape religious persecution. During the harsh winter, the native Americans feasted with the pilgrims to mark a short-lived era of peace. 

British AP World History teacher Kathryn Nocca discussed her new traditions after moving to America. 

“What I have been doing for the last few years is inviting all of the strays and expatriates that I know to my house where I make turkey,” Nocca said. “I always also make roast parsnips as one of my traditions. But, since I do not have family here it is not as much of a family gathering as it is taking care of people I see.”

Main office secretary Cindy Knotts described her typical Thanksgiving holiday. 

“My husband and I get up at four in the morning and get the turkey ready.” Knotts said. “We take it to my parents house and then share it there. This will be our 18th year doing this; I have a daughter in college who is 21 and this will be her first year coming home for Thanksgiving. Another thing we try to do as a family is to get our Christmas lights ready and plug them in during the night of Thanksgiving. We go all out for Thanksgiving.”

AP US History teacher Patricia Edaburn kept her mother’s traditions alive while adding in her and her husband’s own twist. 

“One tradition is that we still use my mother’s china,” Edaburn said. “When I was growing up, we only used her china for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and now I still do that with my family. But, a normal Thanksgiving looks like our whole family coming to our house for dinner including my children and grandchildren, and when my kids were little, we used to go play kickball after dinner. Our traditions are basically a combination of what my husband grew up with and what I grew up with.”

Math teacher Charlie Burrus spends his Thanksgiving in a way most would never imagine.

“We go to my sister-in-law’s house in College Station and basically just eat a lot,” Burrus said. “But, we are vegan, so we do not eat turkey. As a kid, we would go to my grandparent’s house and eat and watch football. Now, I no longer follow football and do not eat meat. Instead, we play music and spend time together.”

English 3 teacher Jenni Ho discusses her unique family traditions while moving back and forth between different counties while growing up. 

“Mainly it is to spend time with family it used to be during Thanksgiving if we were in the United States or I was in college, I would come back to Houston with my cousins and we would have this big mishmash feast of all different types of food,” Ho said. “There was turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing and also Vietnamese food and Chinese food. So, we had foods from all different places and everybody just brought the food they felt like making. The best part of it was my brother, sister, cousins and I would spend the night at my uncle’s at night, but we would not sleep all night. Our favorite thing was to get up and go to Shipley’s Donuts and be the first ones there. They are actually moving out of the house, and so they invited us over to do that one more time.”

Looking at Thanksgiving today, it brings in millions of dollars of revenue from not only the actual holiday, but also from Black Friday, which is accounted for by the Thanksgiving revenue. Thanksgiving has also changed from the 17th century traditions. I decided to interview some of our very own staff to see how their traditions have changed from when they were kids.

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