So as we near the end of November, I feel obliged to blog about the hands-down champion of all holidays: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is great for many reasons.

Reason 1: It’s about FOOD, what’s not to love?

Reason 2: It’s a non-denominational holiday, so everyone can enjoy it

Reason 3: You get time off from school. Sure, it’s not as much as the winter holidays, but it still counts!

Reason 4: Sweet potatoes

Reason 5: Stuffing

Reason 6: Did I mention, food?

But in order to truly convey the essence of why Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever, I need to give you a little background on what my Thanksgiving looks like. My family is all about tradition, and for me, Thanksgiving has some of the most and best traditions compared to any other holiday. When I wake up on Thanksgiving morning, it’s to the smell of fresh chocolate chip pancakes that my dad has made to perfection for as long as I can remember. When my brother and I are done eating, we immediately change into athletic clothes and go to a local elementary school field where we meet up with friends, extended family, and neighbors, some of whom we only see once a year (on Thanksgiving).

After warm greetings, a bit of catching up, and a lot of smack-talk, we divide into teams for the historic Turkey Bowl- this year marks Turkey Bowl XIV. I’ve heard of a lot of football games on Thanksgiving from many of my friends, but none quite like ours. We play for pride, and we play for keeps. The winners of the Turkey Bowl can and DO gloat for a full year when victory is achieved, and I’m still taunting my brother from last year. When the game finally comes to a close, we all jump in our cars and come back to our house to sit and have a drink (soda for those who are under 21!) on a small brick wall that borders our yard. When my parents remodeled our house a few years ago, they kept the brick wall, knowing that it had to remain intact for Thanksgiving, even though it clashes a little bit with the new yard. When we’ve finally said goodbye to everyone we head inside and turn on football. We lay on the couch, cramped and sore, as comparisons begin to arise of us and the professional players that run around the screen, but in our hearts we all know none of us worth a can of beans as a football player.

After a few hours of football the feast arrives. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce- everything you want from Thanksgiving and more, lines the table as my family begins to dig in. We sit, eat, and laugh for hours as the afternoon slowly becomes night. When dinner is over we go back to our football, waiting until we can make enough room in our stomachs for a small slice of pumpkin pie for dessert. We say our goodbyes sluggishly as we all hesitate to leave the couch, but alas, the holiday eventually comes to an end.

SImply put, Thanksgiving incorporates all of my favorite things: food, football, friends, and family, and THAT is why Thanksgiving is, and always will be, my favorite holiday.