How Hellgate Feels about Thanksgiving

Luke O'Connell and Daniel Blackwell

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     As Thanksgiving rolls around, and families around the nation get ready to fill up on turkey and pie, students and faculty around Hellgate are getting ready to do the same. Overall, the people interviewed enjoy the holiday, disagree on some aspects of the meal, and feel badly about the history of the holiday.

The Lance staff during Lancegiving. Photo taken by Jill Derryberry.

     Everyone interviewed celebrates the holiday, and most often, their favorite aspects are the food and family. English teacher Tyson Warner said that Thanksgiving is his “favorite holiday of the year…because it’s a really good excuse to not have to do anything for an afternoon and an evening. I get to be lazy and that’s socially acceptable.” Junior Eric Lund agreed, saying that he “[likes] the food” and that the holiday is really fun.

     First off, the classic protein of most Thanksgiving dinners, turkey. Surprisingly, people asked around Hellgate don’t enjoy the food. Senior Bella Staratt argued that turkey is “kind of boring. It’s not as flavorful as chicken.” She went on to say that “Chicken’s less dry too.”

     Mr. Warner agreed, saying that he feels like “turkey is okay in the dark meats, but it’s overrated, mainly because it’s not better than chicken, and for the most part, turkeys are raised in a horrible way.” Another student, junior Alex Upton, went on to say that she doesn’t even “enjoy the flavor of meat in general,” and that she’s “sort of” vegetarian. 

     Another staple of most Thanksgiving meals is stuffing. Junior Eric Lund isn’t too picky about his stuffing, saying that he enjoys the “store-bought stuff.” Staratt likes her stuffing made out of “bread, a lot of seasoning, and rosemary,” and believes its the “best part of Thanksgiving.”

     Cranberry sauce is another common dish at most Thanksgivings, and students and teachers alike had some pretty interesting alternatives for the classic dish. Upton said that “raspberry could make it,” and Mr. Warner said that he “[makes] a lot of plum sauce.” People who were asked enjoyed the sauce overall, but believed that if a cranberry sauce is going to be done right, it has to be done right. “I’m not a fan of the can,” said Mr. Warner.

     Most everyone interviewed likes pie, though there was some disagreements when it comes to what kind. Mr. Warner prefers apple, but has recently decided that “pie itself is good enough, and that putting the ice cream or other things on just isn’t emphasizing it.” He went on to say that if he were to use whipped cream, it’d have to be home made, a common theme throughout people interviewed. Staratt argued that pumpkin pie is the best, as it “feels more healthy than eating any other pie, but it’s still delicious.”

     Another part of Thanksgiving is its controversial history. The oppression and genocide of Native Americans in the early history of the United States is a topic not often discussed around the dinner table, even though it’s very significant to the history of the holiday.

     Everyone asked about how they felt about the history of Thanksgiving said they weren’t too happy about it, with Upton saying “Us taking away their culture, we did all this crappy stuff to them, and then we’re like ‘Oh we were friends, let’s make this our holiday.’” 

     Lund, when asked about how he felt about the history of the holiday, said that he feels poorly about the treatment of Native Americans. Along with that, Starratt said that she “[feels] terrible about it.” 

     Junior Jonah Teasdale expressed remorse regarding the topic, saying that he “[doesn’t] think anybody can deny that it’s clearly really messed up, it’s something that everybody, hopefully, everybody wishes had never happened.”

     Another junior, Anya Craig, when asked how she felt about Thanksgiving, said that  “The history behind Thanksgiving is not necessarily something that I’d want to celebrate,” and that “It’s often overlooked for Christmas just because of capitalism and the whole commercial holiday itself.” 

     Overall, Hellgate community members have some pretty interesting opinions on Thanksgiving. Though they clearly share a common viewpoint when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving, it’s obvious that their opinions vary when it comes to the food often served on the holiday.