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Thank God for Thanksgiving This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Almost 400 years ago, the Pilgrims landed atPlymouth Rock not far from where I am writing this. In October 1621, they shareda meal with the Wampanoag to give thanks for their first harvest. That day hasbeen immortalized as a national holiday, and much of what really happened hasevolved into legend and myth. Who would have guessed that this event from so longago could still bring families together today?

My grandparents live in anold house right on the water in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Every year on the lastThursday of November, our family gathers at this home by the sea where mygrandmother waits eagerly to welcome us. My family comes from all over NewEngland to share the Thanksgiving meal and give thanks, and every year makesspecial memories that I will always cherish.

By the time we arrive, familymembers from out-of-state are already there, staying in the many extra bedrooms.As we walk through the kitchen, the pleasant aromas of the holiday overwhelm us.The scents of hot rolls rising; cranberry sauce; warm, crisp pie; deviled eggsand, of course, the juicy turkey basting in the oven, all tickle our noses. Weare dressed in our finest: glittering dresses for the women and suits for themen. Even the children are dolled up.

Heading into the living room, wherethe dogs are sprawled by the fire, I catch up with my cousins. We tell stories,swap jokes, laugh and pass the time until dinner. As the food is laid out,everyone gathers around two tables. Although my cousins and I are 17, we haveonly graduated to the "adult table" once. After the chaos that ensued,we were back at the children's table the following year and every Thanksgivingsince then. Who can complain? The kids' table is much more fun anyway. Before webegin eating, we all say what we are thankful for. I always say I am grateful forbeing there with my family.

As day turns to night, those who livenearby start to leave. The children always sleep over so that we can spend moretime with those who are visiting. We stay awake long into the night tellingghost stories and watching movies. Last Thanksgiving we stayed up until dawn,just talking. The age gap of almost 50 years was bridged that night, something Ifind very beautiful.

I am going to thank my lucky stars for Thanksgiving.It's amazing that something that happened so long ago to people I'll never knowcan influence me in such a way that I am closer to my family because of it. Itmakes me a better person. Thank God for Thanksgiving.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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