By Grace Aderibigbe
As the holiday season approaches, the leaves are browning, it is getting cooler and all around feelings are at an all time high. But every year, many Americans are left with a predicament, one that hinders them from getting in on all the fun. Unlike some festivities where the celebration lays dependent upon the religion of the individual, Thanksgiving remains America’s most inclusive holiday, prompting a whopping 85 percent of the population, no matter their gender, race or religious affiliation to gather around the table and share a turkey every year.
“I was so excited to celebrate Thanksgiving this year because I got to see so many relatives in person that I haven’t seen in so long,” said senior Jacey Cho.
“Usually, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where I feel like I just go through the motions, but this year it felt refreshing to see some family that COVID kept me away from for so long...”
This year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thanksgiving is as popular as ever. As a result of COVID’s restrictive policies that stressed social distancing of at least six feet at all times, people have become desperate to see and be with their family and friends. Many have also stated how thankful they are to be safe in a time of such uncertainty, an ideal that goes hand in hand with Thanksgiving’s overarching theme of gratefulness.
“Usually, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where I feel like I just go through the motions, but this year it felt refreshing to see some family that COVID kept me away from for so long,” said senior Jordyn Neu.
Here at New Hyde Park, much of the student body has chosen to celebrate Thanksgiving with an ageless feast of their own, one known as “Friendsgiving.” Defined as a large meal shared with friends on or around the Thanksgiving holiday, Friendsgiving has become an integral part of Thanksgiving culture, one that the younger generations have chosen to indulge in full time.
The festivities didn’t seem to stop there for New Hyde Park Memorial’s staff and student body as this year some individuals got to experience the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person. The grand annual parade based in New York City was first held in 1924 and boasts floats over 36 feet long. Showcasing a diverse catalog of floats ranging from Baby Yoda to Mickey Mouse, this year’s exhibit didn’t fail to impress. English teacher Ms. Mannle was one of Ronald McDonald’s balloon handlers, and junior Rachel Priest dressed up as an elf, helping Santa on his float and greeting parade spectators.
Sources by Ms. Mary Kay Mannle and Rachel Priest
English teacher Ms. Mannle and junior Rachel Priest, along with her mom, pose in their costumes at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"Participating in the parade was truly the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. I feel so lucky to have been a part of such an amazing New York City happening. Cross it off the bucket list!" said Ms. Mannle.
“I didn’t expect that walking in a parade would be as amazing as it was, but seeing everyone’s smiles as I frolicked through the streets of New York City made it such a memorable experience that will last me a lifetime!” said Priest.