Thanksgiving evokes mixed feelings among students

Abelina J. Nuñez
LV Life Editor 

Now that the excitement of Halloween season is over, it’s time to prepare for Thanksgiving – an arguably politically incorrect holiday that gets a mixed reception, at least among students at the University of La Verne. 

In an informal survey of 26 University of La Verne students, while 20 said they enjoy Thanksgiving and six said they don’t, 14 students said they do not go “all out”for turkey day, as they might  for other holidays. 

“I enjoy Thanksgiving,” said Jonathan Saldivar, sophomore kinesiology major. “Both sides of my family get together, and we all sit down and have a giant dinner… we all kind of help out and cook.” 

But Scheradyn Hall, senior liberal arts major, said she does not like Thanksgiving because of its fraught history. 

“I just don’t like the history of Thanksgiving,” Hall said, adding that she does like getting together with family.  “But in high school, I learned a lot about the indigenous people’s history and the effects that Thanksgiving has had on Indigenous cultures and everything, and I don’t like participating in that aspect of things.” 

Amnaa Taha, sophomore political science major, said she does not go “all out” for Thanksgiving. Instead, she said she makes a simple dinner and prepares for Black Friday.

Ash Ramirez, senior education major, said she likes the concept and being grateful for the people in your life, but  not the holiday itself. 

“It’s based on glorifying the relationship between the settlers and indigenous people of America, it’s kind of putting a lot more respect into the settlers than into the Indigenous people who have to go through a trauma dealing with them coming here.” 

Ramirez said she does not like to celebrate Thanksgiving too much, and being grateful should be something that you do every day, not just one day a year.

As for their individual family traditions, despite mixed feelings, all said they have family dinner on the holiday, nine said they watch football, and five said they watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. 

“The parade is usually on during the time we’re cooking,” said Lizzy De La Cruz, sophomore psychology major. 

De La Cruz added that she and her family write what they are grateful for, and after dinner they read what they wrote. 

Saldivar said his favorite part about Thanksgiving is making pumpkin pie and apple pie with his aunt. 

Ramirez shared a memory of Thanksgiving – going next door to her aunt’s house, and watching a “Twilight Zone” marathon while cooking. 

Abelina J. Nuñez can be reached at abelina.nunez@laverne.edu

Abelina J. Nuñez, senior journalism major, is a photography editor for Campus Times and staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. She previously served as LV Life editor, arts editor social media editor and staff writer. In Fall 2023, Nuñez was La Verne Magazine's editor-in-chief and was previously a staff writer as well. Her work can be found on Instagram @abelinajnunezphoto.

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