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GRCC students share their Thanksgiving stories

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By Lillian Linscott

With the holidays fast approaching students reminisce about Thanksgivings past and cherished memories. Everyone’s holiday experiences are different, with a wide variety of traditions, food and people. Whether your gatherings are crazy or calm, each time we come together there are memories created that will last a lifetime.

Students shared their holiday stories, most of them were of meal disasters.

Joseph Yaklan, 20, of Cedar Springs, said he always has a big meal with family, and they spend all day together. However one year they had an interesting meal.

“My mom’s mom didn’t have any food in time for Thanksgiving, so she got us all KFC instead of an actual turkey,” Yaklan said. “I thought that that was weird ‘cause we usually have turkey, and I showed up and there was a bunch of KFC everywhere. I was like ‘this is a little bit different.’”

Heather Eidahl, 20, of Minnesota, said one year her and her sister decided to make fudge for their whole family. Although they were newbies at fudge making they decided to go with a rather difficult recipe.

“We were like ‘oh we got this, don’t worry mom, you can go make whatever else, we’re gonna make the fudge,’” Eidahl said. “Once we were done it was like ‘ok that turned out kinda weird’ and they (Eidahl’s family) go to eat it and it’s just like pure grit, it was like sand, it was disgusting and our whole family was eating it and they were trying to be polite. They were like, ‘oh yeah you did such a good job,’ but we’re like ‘no, it tastes like sand.’”

Another student, Tony Torres, 21, of Grand Rapids, said his family gatherings are pretty basic. They cook a turkey and watch football, however, about six years ago things took a wild turn.

“My dog jumped on the table and ate the turkey,” Torres said.

The nightmare of all who prepare the meals for large parties became a reality for Vivianna Juarez, 18, of Zeeland, Michigan, and her family.

“One time I was with my uncle and aunt, we spent Thanksgiving with them, and they were making a turkey,” Juarez said. “But they forgot about the turkey. They were making it at another friend’s house because their oven had broken and when they remembered… the turkey, the turkey was burnt.”

The holiday season isn’t all meal disasters and preparation, it is also a time to enjoy those we love. Although some family may live far away and the distance may hinder constant communication, the holiday season provides an excellent excuse to gather.

“My favorite Thanksgiving memory was probably seeing my cousin, he’s in the military now, he’s overseas,” Yaklan said. “Two Thanksgivings ago I finally got to see him after he went in right after high school, and I haven’t seen him since.”

Coming together in a big group, especially with family, may lead to some awkward moments. Eidahl shared a story with us, she was at her best friend’s house around Thanksgiving where they were having a pre-party, where her friend’s mom let in a guy that neither girls knew.

“We both looked at each other like, ‘wait who is that?’” Eidahl said. “He looked like a homeless guy. So this whole time we were acting as if he was homeless, and like ‘oh your mom let in a homeless guy, and letting him eat with us at Thanksgiving, that’s so nice of her.’ So we went the entire party thinking this was some homeless guy that nobody knew and then we found out after he’s leaving and she says goodbye to him, and we find out that it was her brother.”

These events are also a perfect time to tell amazing news.

Gabi Salazar, 18, of Grand Rapids, said her most memorable Thanksgiving was “when my sister-in-law told my parents she was pregnant.”

So whether its an extravagant event or a simple get-together with dinner and games, each tradition is a time for memory-making and of giving thanks. We wish you a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ from The Collegiate and feel free to leave a comment below telling us your holiday stories.

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