Locals talk about what they are grateful for this year, and share a bit about their Thanksgiving traditions.
As the holidays approach, it's time to put aside all the clutter of our daily lives and evaluate the passing year. With the coming of each Thanksgiving season, we are inclined to evaluate our lives and contemplate what we are grateful for.
Troubled by the toils of our everyday lives, we are relieved on this one day to practice old traditions, gather with our families and give thanks. How have we been blessed? What have we accomplished? What have we received? Thanksgiving transcends racial and religious lines and culminates in the celebration of life and merriment.
For most, family is the ultimate reason to give thanks. On this day people travel far and wide to sit at the dinner table surrounded by those they love.
Andrew Lane, 26, travels every year to New Jersey to be with his 10 brothers and sisters.
Justin Ross, the Maryland State Delegate for the 22nd district, will travel to New York to be with his family.
"I'm thankful for my three little children, and my soon to be fourth," said Ross. "I'm thankful that we live in such a wonderfully diverse area for my kids to grow up in."
Hyattsville's diversity is evident walking through the Mall at Prince George's, yet it seems that everyone engages in some sort of Thanksgiving celebration.
Thanksgiving doesn't always have to be the traditional turkey and sweet potato feast that so many Americans enjoy. In fact, for many people who come from different countries, Thanksgiving is nothing more than a day of celebration and family that they customize to their own culture.
Dun-Yee Wong, 30, librarian at the University of Maryland, says she adds Chinese flair to her Thanksgiving meal.
"It's very informal," said Wong. "We don't dress up, no set timing, we just eat, sleep, and eat again."
For French native Emilie Fedele, the holiday has nothing to do with early settlers. There is no big turkey and family gathering. Rather, it is a day to dine with her American friends who have a greater appreciation for the day.
"I'm thankful to work, have money, live and share with the people I love," said Fedele.
Thanksgiving is often about celebrating the challenges life gives us and embracing the small things.
"I'm thankful for the ability to change through life," said Ronnie Williams, 23, a Hyattsville resident. "Whether it be for the best or the worst."
Yasmeen Wicks, 15, spends the holiday appreciating her family and education. But, she says, it wouldn't be thanksgiving without music – particularly "old school" and Christmas music.
"All the different generations are in one room and everyone knows the words," said Wicks. "It creates a sense of unison and togetherness for my family."
Marta Polanco, 53, who will spend the holiday cooking turkey and rice for her family members said, "every day you have to give thanks."
For some, Thanksgiving is the day to celebrate personal accomplishments that may otherwise go unrecognized.
Tiffany Thigpen, 26, is most appreciative of her new job, which allowed her to move to Washington, D.C.
"I've been wanting to get her for a long time," she said.
Sometimes, people are simply most thankful for Thanksgiving Day. One day out of the whole year to indulge, laugh and be with family. A day to eat stuffed yams, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese and turkey – all in the company of those we care about most.
"It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without too much food and comatose naps after you eat," said Lauren Ficco, 21, a student at University of Maryland.