What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?

We asked readers to share their thoughts and memories of the holiday with us

Well, honestly, I am not sure where to start, but I am going to try to keep it concise. When you are able to spend a day with your family, who may be of origin or adopted through love, to celebrate together who you are and what you may like to achieve. To give thanks for just being and able to receive support, as well as give support, to those you love as well as those in need. Thanksgiving = Grateful — hence the ability to share/give with nothing in return. Happy Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving to all.

— Dottie Schmidt 

It’s always been a special family time in my family. My grandmother started the Holiday tradition of Pie Day. It’s held at lunch time on Thanksgiving. My daughter is now 4th generation carrying on the tradition. We invite family, friends and neighbors for lunch and you serve only homemade pies, ice cream & whipped cream. We usually make about 8-10 different kinds of pies. Coffee & iced tea to round out the menu. Regular Thanksgiving dinner is shared with family about 6:00 p.m.

— Beverly Steen

Each Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of my first mission trip to Guatemala in 2017 during the week of Thanksgiving. I was explaining the meaning behind Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims etc. and how we celebrate each year. The Guatemalan I was talking to thought the holiday was funny for Thanksgiving. He then told me that in Guatemala they don’t celebrate a holiday like Thanksgiving. He told me each day they give thanks for all that God does. To this day, that message was powerful and struck my heart. Always give thanks, every day.

— Dale Trotter

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday! No gifts to purchase, no candy to buy and eggs to dye, no big elaborate bar-b-que to prepare. Just a special day to share a delicious home cooked turkey dinner with those we love, enjoy good conversations and football games, and most importantly, give thanks to God for the many blessings we have received. I am grateful to have this day set aside to be thankful.

— Gretta Wolter

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to rise above our everyday concerns and perceived conflicts to challenge ourselves to look for the BLESSINGS in all things. As a result, the gratitude that fills our hearts can’t help but spill onto others, and together, we can feel the abundant joy of being alive.

— Kristin Quinn

Thanksgiving is more than just another holiday. For as many years as I can remember, for our family, it is a time to make memories by passing on traditions through cooking and sharing recipes (and all the little secrets that make them so good). Teaching our younger generations how to make them and share the love of cooking and baking with those we love. The women congregating in the kitchen and the men are on the porch watching the children play or watching a football game on TV. It is a time to reminisce about family that has passed on and hearing stories and tales that we may have heard thirty times before but looking forward to them knowing that it may be the last time you hear them from grandpa or grandma. Saying grace before eating and ending it with mother saying “bye-bye” to God at the end, causing everyone to laugh as if she just hung up the phone from a conversation with God himself. We lost our mom 3 years ago, and we now end grace with “bye-bye” in honor of our mother. We continue to gather, to teach, to share, to pray and to love and I hope that never ends!

— Nancy O’Day

I remember during Thanksgiving all the people and things in my life I’m grateful for. I’m blessed beyond measure and God continues to bless my life everyday.

— Natalie Dupont

Thanksgiving, for me, is a harmonious blend of these three elements: cherishing family, caring for the community, and nurturing the self. It’s a time of reflection, appreciation, and the expression of gratitude in its various forms.

— Shawna Kearsley

Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude for those who bring their light and laughter to us everyday. Our coworkers, friends and family — near and far.

— Karen Jayne

As I think about the day we as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, it warms my heart to think of the privilege to gather with friends and family at our Sussex County farm, to once again celebrate the time honored traditions of the morning waterfowl hunt. The gathering around the farm table to share home-made sticky buns (made by tradition only one day per year), coffee/ homemade hot chocolate (for the children), and tell stories of old, followed by parades on television, and of course, the grand meal, after a heart felt blessing and praise to God for our freedoms, health, family, traditions and friends.

— Gary Chorman

Thanksgiving is a day we can reflect on what and who matters most. One day, however, isn’t nearly enough time to express gratitude to those who have guided us. Thanksgiving isn’t just a day — it’s many emotions wrapped up like an early Christmas gift, reminding us that no matter what’s good or bad, today will change and it will be okay. It’s a day to give thanks to those who make a difference and to be thankful they choose to do it with you. Professionally, I am incredibly thankful for the team we have at Coastal Style. Jaime, Mariah, Andrea, Grant, Joe, Kristen, Marci, Jill, Alison, Dena, Krista, Ken, Richard and many others: Thank you for being a huge part of Coastal Style’s continued success and making our years together the best we’ve ever had. My incredible husband, Jon, the one who puts all the puzzle pieces together to ensure a positive reader experience, which all comes after packing lunches and doing the morning routine to get kids off to school just to make sure I’m well-rested for the day. Really, it’s because he knows what I’m like if I don’t get 8 hours of sleep, so he takes the road with less resistance. Thankful — today and every day.

— Erin Westman

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and giving back. Whether we are near or far, we remember the cherished memories of loved ones lost and those still with us. It’s about giving; providing meals, clothing and shelter through donations to those less fortunate. It’s about giving back to Mother Earth through our actions and decisions we make in our daily lives. 

— Maggie Harry

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection. It is a time to bless others, as well as being blessed. It is a time to open our hearts and understand clearly the unmerited favor of God — and be Thankful!

— Pastor Kathleen Prout

Thanksgiving means an exact date in the year, when I consciously and purposely STOP and give thanks to the ALMIGHTY for the overwhelming blessings in my life. My life has always revolved around loving family/ friends and great food. One coincides with the other often. Growing up, EVERY THANKSGIVING my family was with very close family friends (like family) and we had the most amazing THANKSGIVING DINNER! Great memories still to this day. Not that we should have to have a date to give thanks, but THANKSGIVING DAY, makes us pause and allows that REALITY to bring those great memories of loving family and great food to the surface, at least one time during the year — the aroma of freshly baked turkey, crisp autumn air, wood burning in the fireplace and those desserts… oh my! YES, so blessed!

— Greg Hastings


Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their heartfelt feelings and memories with us! We’re truly thankful for our loyal readers and wish you and your families a safe, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving holiday! CS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *