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Tales from the Tails: Thanksgiving Traditions

By Olivia Maxwell

Set the scene. Late on a Saturday Night. Phone Rings.

Dad: “Hello” (sounding exhausted)

Little Girl: “Daddy. It’s me. Can you come pick me up?” (children playing in the background)

olivia little girl

I was that little girl. You know the type, the girl that could not spend the night away from home … EVER. On multiple occasions, my mom or dad would receive calls from my friends’ parents saying, “Olivia wants to come home.” And my devoted (tired) parents would climb in their cars and come pick me up.

Fast forward to present day, that timid little girl (me) lives in Washington, DC – 2,000 miles away from her childhood home. While I might be braver than my eight-year-old self, that desire to be home remains true, especially on the holidays. Thankfully, through hundreds of flight options, going back home is almost just as easy as those late night calls from my past.

My family’s Thanksgiving traditions are not unique, but they are special to us and being together is the most important part. We wake up early to start preparing the food, and there is always TONS of food: fried turkey, roasted turkey, multiple side dishes and at least 10 pies. Everyone dons their Aggie Maroon (the official color of my alma mater, Texas A&M University) to get pumped up for the big football game, an annual Thanksgiving event. Throughout the day, we give thanks for our many blessings, and later, if our team gives us a W, we shout our biggest thanks yet! It is one of my favorite holidays and just thinking about it gets me excited for this year’s festivities.

One of my favorite movies is Love Actually. If you haven’t seen it, the movie begins and ends with an airport scene. People are running to loved ones: hugging them, laughing with them, and they all look so happy. Both the opening and closing scenes capture the sentiment I am trying to express. The joy and happiness I feel that I can still get home to my family during those important times, despite living far away.

So this Thanksgiving along with giving thanks for my family, our health and other blessings, I will be saying a few words of gratitude to the airlines and all of their employees. Thank you for getting me home safely to my family and making the holidays that much more special!

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