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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Thanksgiving Tradition

Photo by Jill Wellington from Pixabay


A crackling fire. The sweet smells of a berry cobbler cooked in a simmering cast iron Dutch oven. Our two folding tables are laid out with so much food that it might fall at any moment. Friends and family all gathered together on the small gravel patch where we are camping. Several yards away, the younger children play around with sticks, clacks and cracks accentuating the dying fire. Ahh, Thanksgiving! 

For my friends elsewhere in the world, Thanksgiving is a holiday here in the United States where we do just that; give thanks for what we have. Traditionally, this is done by gathering as many family members as possible and having a feast, often consisting of pumpkin pie, cornbread, cranberry sauce, and, of course, a generous helping of turkey. The giving thanks part may be overlooked now, though there are many who still hold the holiday as a more traditional introspective time. 

My family does something that is not quite standard for Thanksgiving. Together with close friends and family, we rent a couple of cabins at Raven Rock State Park campground in North Carolina for Thanksgiving weekend. We hike along the trails in the park and admire the forest and the views around us. We also take our yearly picture on top of a cliff overlooking the river and a stretch of forest that extends as far as the eye can see. Often, when we return, the children will continue walking the paved loop around the campsite as the adults prepare for the evening feast.

The Thanksgiving feast, as you can imagine, is rather extensive. We each bring food that was meticulously planned in advance, and the afternoon is spent cooking our meal over the fire. As the meal is being prepared, both of our families take turns talking about things that we were thankful for during that year. We wait until the food cools slightly before saying our prayers and feasting for the rest of the night. Normally, this lasts until either we fall asleep or the morning comes, whichever is sooner.

Thanksgiving is an enjoyable holiday. It is a time when we can all reflect on how blessed we are to be able to spend our days together. During our Thanksgiving campouts, I often find myself lying on the picnic table and looking up to the night sky, listening to the echoes of laughter radiating from around the campfire. It is amazing, really, what a Thanksgiving feast can do to bring people together. After years of enjoying these yearly celebrations, I can safely say that no other holiday leaves me quite as fulfilled (both in mind and appetite) as Thanksgiving.


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About the Contributor
Dale D., Freelance writer
Dale is a student at Brunswick County Early College High School and a freelance writer for the Teen Scene.

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