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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. My family back at home has a crazy busy schedule back at home, as do I up at college. It is always so nice around this time of year because everyone’s schedules die down for a bit, and we get to spend time together. Each year my family and I go to both of my grandparents’ houses and have two amazing dinners. At my dad’s mom’s house, my grandma writes a letter of the alphabet on each of the napkins. Before we eat, we say a prayer and then go around the table and say what we are grateful for, corresponding with the letter on the napkin. This is one of my favorite traditions because it really lets me think deeply about what I am grateful for that I may not think about every day. Ever since my grandpa died back in 2014, it has had more value to me than ever. With COVID and everything last year around this time, we did not go to my grandma’s and it broke my heart to not do our tradition. 

My mom’s side of the family is pretty big; there are eighteen of us total including my grandparents. Each year, we gather at my Nonnie’s house and have a huge dinner with every Thanksgiving food you can imagine, two tables filled! Each Sunday throughout the year my whole family and I try to gather at my grandparents’ and eat just a normal Sunday dinner with the rest of my family. However, most of my cousins and I are working a part-time job, involved with sports, or are in college. With COVID-19 and everything going on last year, it was challenging, but we managed the best we could with the big family we have. We always make each other laugh, and overall have a great time. COVID-19 makes you realize to appreciate the little things in life, like spending time with family. Hence, this year I cannot wait to spend Thanksgiving with my family now that vaccinations help contain the virus and everyone is protected. 

Hi my name is Emily! I am a sophomore at IUP this year studying early childhood and special education. I love coffee, Target runs, and watching Grey's Anatomy!
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