Celebrations with Family and Friends

tttBy Lydia Vazquez

Thanksgiving brings joyful celebrations for students at College of Southern Nevada.

Every fourth Thursday of November people give thanks with tons of food and lots of love, adding their own special twists from their traditions.

“I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with the people who I care about most,” said Brandon Harris, CSN biology major. “We always have a turkey and ham for Thanksgiving and the ham is the best part for me. We have all the side dishes to go along as well like candied yams, mac-and-cheese, collard greens and of course the rolls. Basically a traditional Southern-style Thanksgiving, which I grew up on.”

CSN student Lyndell Flores said she celebrates Thanksgiving by getting together with family around noon until the following morning. “We take family pictures, play games and always end up dancing at some point. We just party hard and eat a lot.”

“Thanksgiving is a day that we use to hang out with family from El Salvador, Mexico, California and Texas. It’s the one time a year that everyone puts in an effort and makes it here to Vegas,” Flores added.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada. “It is meant to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists, Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Indians. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism.”

“My boyfriend and his friends are hosting a ‘Festivus for the Rest of Us’,” said Amanda Lorenz, graphic design major at CSN. “Essentially, it’s what everyone calls a ‘Friendsgiving’ except it’s actually held on Thanksgiving because the rest of us can’t be with family.”

“My family all live on the East Coast and since I will be traveling there in December I will be remaining in Vegas this Thanksgiving,” Lorenz said.

tt“Some people are lucky enough to have two Thanksgiving celebrations—the traditional Thanksgiving with family and the new-age Friendsgiving with friends,” Lorenz said. “Some are less lucky but still blessed. I consider myself in that category since I still have somewhere to be even if I’m not spending it with family.”

Kasmir Douglas, student at CSN, will also spend the holiday in Vegas without her family.

“I’m celebrating it with my boyfriend’s family because I don’t have family out here and they’re the closest to it,” Douglas said. “Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks. That’s one of the reasons why I love to spend it with my boyfriend’s family because I thank them for taking me in and treating me like their own.”

Douglas looks forward to singing karaoke, playing games like charades, hanging out and eating sweet potato pie.

Some students simply do not celebrate Thanksgiving and some have other plans.

“I am of Asian descent and my family doesn’t normally celebrate Thanksgiving,” said Nino Flores, student at CSN. On occasion they will celebrate Thanksgiving because Flores’ auntie married a man who does but this year they will not. Regardless Flores reflects on how this day can mean so much for many people.

Business major Ruth Vargas said she will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day this year by taking a mini vacation instead of partaking in the typical fare. “Everything is closed, which means I get to stay home and do nothing: no school, no work and no shopping.”

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