Family values of Thanksgiving


A group of 24 close friends gathers around a table to share lunch on Friday, Nov. 16. This tradition is known as “Friendsgiving.” Photo by Allie Pigg.

Jordyn Thompson

Last year the average American spent about $165.14 on food and other items on Thanksgiving, according to a survey by Although most average Americans spend a large amount of money to celebrate with family, there are alternative ways of spending the holiday such as “friendsgiving,”which is a smaller way to reflect how thankful they are.
November is when most families come together to celebrate their friends and family as well as other things in their in life. But each family values something different as well as their priorities.
Sophomore Brock Freeman has gotten used to his mom and aunt battling to be the best hosts for their family’s Thanksgiving.
“They know that they are in the same family and that we love each other,” Freeman said,” But they’re always battling about who’s going to be in charge.”
Freeman has a pretty large family with a big gathering of people. They play games and different sports outside while some come inside to visit with each other. The significance of Thanksgiving for the Freeman’s is immense because it is a time everyone comes together,despite their busy lives, to see each other. Freeman said, Thanksgiving is not just a dinner, it is also a time to appreciate everyone in his bloodline.
“My mom has always instilled [in me that] the value of family above everyone is important,” Freeman said, “and I feel like our family has tried to incorporate [that]no matter who works and who doesn’t.”Through the chaos, Freeman’s mom has always taught him the true meaning of the holiday.
The Thanksgiving tradition is based on a big dinner with family or friends to honor what they are thankful for, just as the Pilgrims did when they entered the new world in 1621.
Each family has independent traditions including those that celebrate this holiday has different ways of showing love and gratitude toward each other and their lives. Senior Katie Bagley has a  family of about 10 to 11 people that go to her grandparents house in Kansas City.
“We obviously celebrate Thanksgiving,but it’s not a huge thing for us just because there isn’t a lot of us,” Bagley said. ”and so we don’t have to travel that far or put on a big feast.”
Bagley recognizes the holiday’s importance and loves spending time with her family, however for her she truly looks forward to the competitive part of the week. Black Friday is part of the shopping seasons in November and December, according to the National Retail Federation. The Federation says that sales will be up 4.1 percent in 2018.
“Personally, I love Black Friday a lot. I mean , don’t get me wrong; I love going to see my family at Thanksgiving, but Black Friday is my favorite part, and I just like the whole week.”
The excitement of Black friday is another way for family members to spend time together during the holiday.
No matter the simplicity of each family’s tradition, Joe Whitman, broadcasting teacher at the Columbia Area Career Center, finds a balance with his two families on this holiday.
“We usually go to my in-law’s house one year or my parent’s house,” Whitman said.”We just take turns basically because we used to go to both every year but, let’s be honest,that’s disgusting and nerve-racking.”
For Whitman, it isn’t a huge holiday because most of his siblings live in different places across the United States. His wife works retail, so she is rarely home during Thanksgiving.
“My family is large, but most of my siblings don’t live around here,” Whitman said,” but my wife’s family she has a big gathering at her parent’s. For my mother- in-law it’s super important. She likes to have crafts for the kids.”
Thanksgiving is an important time for families to stop from their busy lives to come together no matter how they celebrate.
“I think its all people to try as much as possible to be with each other until we can’t.” Freeman said,” Even through the chaos of whos making mashed potatoes this year.” 
What are some interesting stories from your Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below.