When William Bradford and the Mayflower pilgrims discovered Plymouth Rock in 1620, the world was completely different. The settlers had to hunt their own food and lean on each other to survive. To celebrate their first successful harvest, the pilgrims sat down for a community dinner and feasted on the fruits of their labor.
In a poll conducted by polling website debate.org, 80 percent of respondents said the holiday season has been over-commercialized. A recent CNN Money article reported big chain-stores offering Black-Friday-like sales a week before Thanksgiving, often considered the start of holiday season. K-Mart reportedly released its first holiday-themed ad as early as Sept. 5.
While it might seem like people are focused on the roots of the holiday, some students at K-State prefer to stay out of the shopping frenzy and opt to spend their holidays the more traditional way.
“My favorite part of Thanksgiving break is going home for Thanksgiving and seeing my family because I don’t get to see them a whole lot,” Johnny Varela, senior in social sciences, said. “I like to play football and basketball with my friends and family over break.”
Even students who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving plan to spend it with friends.
While most students look forward to spend Thanksgiving with their families, there are some who are simply looking forward to not having the stress of assignments and homework.
“I’m most looking forward to having a week without having to think of school,” Varela said. “Some people use that time to catch up but I’m not one of them.”
Breanna Sayers, freshman in biology, said she agreed with Varela and looks forward to not always have something to do for school.
“It will be nice to just relax,” Sayers said.
There’s no doubting that the world has changed dramatically since the pilgrims founded Plymouth Rock 394 years ago.
Historian and writer J. Robert Moskin once wrote in his book, “365 Days to Enlightenment,”:
“Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.”
The K-State family intends to remain true to this philosophy as family, friends and good food dominate their Thanksgiving plans.