Turkey, gravy, stuffing… Thanksgiving is almost here

Loo and family celebrating Thanksgiving. Photo courtesy of Loo.

As the leaves continue to fall and the temperature drops, the holiday season is creeping up. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, landing on Thursday, Nov. 23, this year which means that Point Loma Nazarene University will not have classes from Wednesday, Nov. 22, to Friday, Nov. 24.

Thanksgiving is often filled with good food, nice weather and lots of company. Some families have special traditions, while others look forward to the quality time they get to spend with each other. Fourth-year psychology major Ethan Loo is looking forward to being surrounded by his large family.

“We don’t really partake in too much of the stereotypical stuff, you know, football and stuff like that. It’s really just a time for my extended family on my mom’s side, especially. They just come together and reconnect for a little bit because it’s a pretty big family,” said Loo.

Along with spending time with his loved ones, Loo said he enjoys the unique Thanksgiving foods that his family brings to the table every year.

“This might be controversial, but I don’t really look forward to ham or turkey. Like, we always have it, but it’s not really my thing,” said Loo. “One of the cool things that I like about my family, during Thanksgiving in particular, is that we have a lot of Asian food. We’re an Asian-American family so a good amount of our food tends to be Japanese food, so we always have a lot of sushi, you know, chicken katsu, things like that.”

Another bonus to Thanksgiving is the opportunity it gives for families to come together and enjoy each other’s presence. Fourth-year child development major Emily Wilson and her family don’t pay as much attention to the food as they do to each other.

“Sometimes we’ll barbecue, sometimes we’ll go to the beach and just hang out. But we don’t have any set traditions that we do,” said Wilson.

With Thanksgiving comes the question of whether it’s too early to celebrate Christmas and when it comes to putting up the tree, Wilson doesn’t like to wait.

“My mom likes to wait until Thanksgiving is over [to put the tree up] but I’m the opposite,” said Wilson.

Fourth-year psychology major Anthony Thome enjoys that his family switches it up every now and then. 

“Sometimes we’re in Sunriver, other times we’re at my grandparents house, other times it’s at our house. We all kind of take turns hosting it and having different members there, like different units so it always kind of changes,” said Thome.

While the change of location happens frequently, one thing that has stayed constant for Thome is the food he looks forward to, especially a special dish that only his mom can make right.

“I love stuffing, that’s easy, I mean, honey glazed ham is up there too,” said Thome. “My mom makes a fire green bean casserole and I get kind of upset when anyone else makes it because no one makes it like her.”

Something unique about Thanksgiving at the Thome’s is that they play a popular social deduction-style game after they’re finished eating.

“Another tradition is we started playing Mafia because our uncle was just so good at narrating and I guess we just kind of kept playing [Mafia] after that,” said Thome.

A piece of advice that Thome has for anyone looking to reconnect with family is to be present. 

“Live in the moment. Don’t let past traumas or future anxieties dictate your present moment,” said Thome.

Loo also feels it is important to take advantage of these times with family. 

“I would say to intentionally love your family. I’m not saying you have to ‘feel’ like you love them, because we all have those certain family members that particularly get on our nerves,” said Loo. “Instead, make it a point to care for, value and love each of your family members with an understanding that this is one of the few times you may get to see them throughout the year.”