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How I Explore My Childhood Thanksgiving Traditions During November

We did many things as kids that we don’t do now. We used to play with toys, go to parks and build puzzles – we just did things that children normally do. Now that we’ve grown up, we have less time to engage in those activities and instead have to focus on other important matters, like college. However, since it is almost Thanksgiving, I want to time travel back to my childhood for just a moment to explore some of the things I did for this holiday. As a child, I would make crafts for Thanksgiving and place them on the refrigerator to proudly show my family the turkeys I created. Of course, these crafts were very basic, but I had fun doing them as a kid. One of the crafts I did was making a turkey from the outline of my hand. I would place my hand on white or colorful construction paper, and outline my hand with a pencil. Afterwards, I traced the pencil outline with pen to make the lines more bold. My fingers were the feathers of the turkey, and my palm and thumb were the body of the turkey. Next, I would add color to my hand in the way I wanted. After coloring in my fingers, I would use each finger to write something that I was thankful for. The end result was a beautiful turkey made from my hand. 

Another Thanksgiving tradition that I did throughout my childhood was watch a variety of shows and movies with my family in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. One of these was the short film, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." The last time I watched this film was years ago, so my memory is hazy. Yet, I do remember that this Charlie Brown film just excited me for Thanksgiving. Although old, “Garfield’s Thanksgiving” was also a favorite of mine. Watching films and movies during Thanksgiving was one of my favorite childhood traditions, and it is something that I’d like to go back and do now. Simply watching movies with my family is a way for me to show that I love them and want to spend time with them. 

I remember that on Thanksgiving day itself, I would wake up extra early just to watch the parade on television. This was the best start to the holiday because it just made me feel more of the Thanksgiving spirit. After turning on the television, I would turn up the volume very loud so that my parents and younger brothers would wake up. Sacrificing a few hours of sleep on Thanksgiving day was worth it because I enjoyed seeing the different floats and performances the parade had to offer with the people I loved the most. 

It is not really Thanksgiving without a Thanksgiving dinner! Every year on Thanksgiving, I go to my uncle’s house for dinner. Almost every year during my childhood, I helped my mom make a dish to bring to his house. I remember helping my mom make mashed potatoes because that was the only thing that I could make without messing up the entire recipe. Although making mashed potatoes is simple, the time that I spent making it with my mom brought me joy as a kid. 

Many of us have stopped our childhood traditions now that we are no longer kids. However, the holiday season is the one time to let yourself explore those traditions again. Whether it be watching movies with family, doing crafts or cooking, you can certainly return to your best childhood moments during Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and giving, and we can show gratitude for our childhood times by engaging in the activities we once did as kids. 

Jamie Vu

UCLA '23

Jamie is a second year student at UCLA. She loves to listen to music and enjoys going to concerts and listening to artists live. During her free time, she likes to go out and explore.
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