5 Things That Come to Mind When Thinking of Thanksgiving: Featuring Xiaoya Cheng and Claire Crookston

The First Thanksgiving, 1621. Image curtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

The month of November holds many traditions. Starting from no shave November all the way up to The Day of the Dead. However, people in the United States of America think of November as one Holiday only, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2015 on Shoe Lake, Ontario, Canada. (Photo: Katherine Martinko, after Norman Rockwell)

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated not only in the USA, however also in Canada and some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It is a day that began as giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

Xioaya Cheng is a TCK born in China. Although studying in Colorado, Cheng has never experienced Thanksgiving as part of her culture. On the other side of the spectrum, Claire Crookston was born and raised in Colorado, USA. Crookston and her family annually celebrated Thanksgiving Day as it was a cultural norm to her.

Here are the five things that come to their minds,


1. Sales!

“All the stores would be on sale in Shanghai, and online shopping!”

2. Turkey

“Because I noticed that is the traditional meal of that day.”

3. Native American

“Because we learned about the history of Thanksgiving, so its like common sense.”

4. Shopping

“Since things are on sale I automatically think of shopping!”

5. Vacation

“Because here in the states, we have a full break for it were we can relax.”


1. Turkey

“Because I love the way it tastes and it is something that me and my family eat annually for Thanksgiving, so it is engrained in me. also when I was in kindergarten we would make turkeys as arts and crafts from paper.”

2. Family

“Because every year me and family get together, its just what we do!”

3. Black Friday

“Because my cousins one day were like, “we’re gonna go shopping wanna come?” and I think it’s aggressive the way it is dealt with and how people are very greedy when the holiday is about being grateful.”

4. The Color Orange

“Because of the leaves falling and pumpkin pie!”

5. Precursor to Christmas

“From this point on I feel like it just tumbles into Christmas spirit.”

Crookston and Cheng are roommates and continue to live alongside each other, regardless of their cultural differences.

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  1. Loved reading about the international perspective of Thanksgiving! I think it is interesting that there were Thanksgiving sales in China.

  2. It was interesting to read how they both had a different take on black Friday and shopping. I think this really indicates a few key cultural differences.

  3. Excellent article! Two person Sara interviewed come from really different background. Based on different growing environment and cultures, Xiaoya and Claire stood on alternative point of view. But at the same time, there’re still some overlaps we can tell from their answer. Interesting angle! It let us clearly compare people’s thoughts from different cultures.

  4. First of all, the writing an content in this article are impeccable. Good job Xiaoya! What I found most interesting about this was the differences between people and cultures. It really exemplifies how while so special, how different all cultures are.

  5. So many different perspectives that entwine into one general understanding of Thanksgiving. Who’d have thought that there are so many different kinds of outlooks worldwide. Lots of contrast, and few, but some similarities. Interesting.

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