Food and Rituals – Thanksgiving (US) — The North Star Reports – by Allison Brennhofer. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal
Thanksgiving with my family was a little different this year. Instead of being held at my grandparent’s house, we had it at my house, which involved us cooking the turkey. Or rather, us putting my grandma on speakerphone while she coached us through the process. Despite the new surroundings for our holiday, we still had the same traditions. Football is huge for my family and I play along the best that I can. We make a ten-by-ten grid on a piece of paper and make boxes out of the grid. Along one axis is one team’s name, and along the other is the competing team. For the life of me I couldn’t tell you who the teams were. Numbers from one to ten are randomly assigned to each box, both down and across the paper. Everyone purchases squares for ten cents each, the usual amount being ten. Then, at each quarter of the game, we check the score and whoever owns the square which lands at the intersection of the last two numbers of the scores (for example, if the score is 17-23, 7 and 3 would be the numbers to find) wins that round.
This year, we started a new tradition that I was more involved in. We had a Texas hold-em tournament, which I wasn’t too sure about until I snagged second place and a $4 cash prize. Games are taken very seriously in my house, and my success amazed my family members because I am known as the one who cannot bluff or lie to save my life.
One of my absolute favorite traditions is making my great-grandma’s cinnamon rolls. She taught me how to make them a few years ago and always insisted that mine were better than hers, which I knew was a lie but appreciated immensely nonetheless. She was one of my favorite people in the world. Unfortunately, she passed away in November of 2013, a month shy of turning 103. It’s been a little hard to make the rolls knowing she won’t be there to eat them, but that’s why I have to keep on making them. Every time I do, I remember her and what an amazing person she was.
Another, newer tradition we’ve been doing is my grandma gives each of us grandchildren $10 and by Christmas, we are supposed to have donated it to some cause that we think deserves it and have a little explanation as to why we did so. I enjoy this new tradition because it reminds me to be grateful for the things I have and for my family every day.
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Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA
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