The season of traditions is upon us here in the U.S. The major holidays, coming one after another, often make people feel sentimental for the “way things used to be,” which is rooted mostly in nostalgia but also in the practice of traditions. Traditions help us feel connected to that which came before us and make us feel part of something bigger than just ourselves. In this country, there may be no holiday that better represents the value of tradition more than Thanksgiving. Children are taught in school what the first Thanksgiving was like, and we still attempt to re-create some elements of that first celebration even now, hundreds of years later.

As Thanksgiving approaches this week, it’s easy for most Americans, especially those born here, to imagine families around the country preparing for the big meal — heading to the grocery store, setting the table, cooking the Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and all of the rest. The whole day, and even the days leading up to it, are spent planning and cooking. At the end of all the preparations we see families sitting down to tables laden with the fruits of all these preparations.

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