Thanksgiving is a holiday centered around giving back and sharing your gratitude with others. Many families come together to bond, share a meal, and remind each other how grateful they are to be in each other’s lives.(Photo from Photos for Class)
With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s the time of year where family and friends get together to celebrate and express their gratitude for each other. For some, the holiday season is the only time of year they get to see certain family members.
Families aren’t able to gather in the way they used to or even enjoy each other’s company because of COVID-19. This separation between families can make it harder for one to give thanks and value everyone and everything in their lives. It’s important to acknowledge all of the aspects of life that are never guaranteed and appreciate what one has, even from a distance.
Many students at Leesville Road High School show their gratitude for their family and friends all year round, but Thanksgiving is an especially important time for them. Having a break from school during the week of Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for students to recognize the best parts of their lives and celebrate all there is to come moving forward.
At the beginning of quarantine, many students spent an extensive amount of time at home with their families that they were not used to. As a result, many families grew closer and strengthened their bonds with each other during this extra time.
Maddie Worth, a senior at Leesville, cherishes her time with her family and friends even more since COVID. “Corona really made me miss my friends, but appreciate my family. I’m more grateful for the sacrifices my mom makes and for being able to now see my amazing friends, while being safe,” Worth said via text. Being with her family for so many hours of the day taught Worth to treasure the little moments in everyday life. “I really value being able to laugh with [my friends and family] and even just sitting next to them watching TikToks.”
Hayden Kizakevich, a sophomore at Leesville, looks back on her time at Leesville in person and values it; it gives her a sense of hope and something to look forward to. “I appreciate how lucky I was to be in school and see my friends all the time, because over the phone is just not the same, and even in person with masks it is still different when you go out in public,” Kizakevich said via text. Although maintaining friendships during COVID may be hard, Kizakevich stays positive in the midst of the chaos. “I am the most thankful for my friends, they are my whole world and I light up every time I see them because they bring me so much joy.”
Kizakevich is waiting for the day that students will be able to safely return to the Leesville building and she can reunite with her friend group in the familiar environment. “I am truly thankful for school. I miss it so much because it built my friend base, and I looked forward to it everyday. My life feels incomplete without the LRHS school building.”
Nic Jones, a senior at Leesville, views the extra time he’s had with his family as a blessing. “COVID has forced [my family] to spend more time together, but I’ve genuinely enjoyed it and we’ve all grown as a result,” Jones said via text.
Jones’ family has also played a role in strengthening his relationship with God: “They help me to do my best in everything I do and keep me grounded in my faith.” Jones is using this Thanksgiving to remind himself of the luxuries in his life that others may never have. “God has blessed me with a supporting family, good friends, and I’ve been blessed to grow up with a roof over my head and food on my plate,” said Jones.
This holiday season, relish in the fact that we are able to celebrate. Although it may not be under the circumstances or to the extent that we wish, taking advantage of what we can have in these strange times is more important than anything. Showing your appreciation and giving thanks to those who have been present in your life is what Thanksgiving is all about.