Morgan Nguyen

Staff Writer

   A breath on the frosted window pane reveals the joy inside the busy house. The glow of candles reflects off maroon walls, as the room suddenly booms with laughter. Uncle just told another one of his corny jokes, oblivious to the fact those girls’ senses of humor change from age six to sixteen, but the cousins giggle anyway because his smile is simply contagious. Grandma asks Mom to pass the turkey and the feast has begun. Savory and sweet smells tempt the family to try a bit more of everything. After a good two hours of food and chatter, they couldn’t be any more content– grateful for the serenity of being with family.

   Thanksgiving brings a break from school, a fun day with family and friends, and a special time to reflect on what is most treasured in life. Everyone has their own unique traditions- senior John Bach and his family run the 10K Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving morning for example- and everyone gets excited for that one dish that particularly tickles their fancy. Students and adults in the community shared how they spend their own Thanksgivings and what they value above all else. Some are unique, some traditional, but all reflect the environment of that joyous family feast.

Interviewed:

Mr. Steib, varsity soccer coach and health teacher:

What are you grateful for? “My family. They’re definitely the greatest thing I’ve got going on in my life.”

What is your favorite tradition? “I would say cold weather tackle football the day of Thanksgiving.”

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John Bach, senior, photographer, PACT leader

What are you grateful for? “I’m most thankful for my family and the way they have raised me. They have grounded me in great morals and have helped me walk in my faith with God.”

What is your favorite tradition? “The morning of Thanksgiving our entire family runs the Turkey Trot 10K- it gets us ready for a big feast that night.”

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John Kid Slim Schneider, senior, budding rapper

What are you grateful for? “I’m grateful for all of my friends and family. They have always been there for me and have made my life amazing. I wouldn’t put anything over that.” 

What is your favorite tradition?  “We usually go to one of my cousin’s houses and have a big feast.”

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Nirali Chauhan, senior, president of Student Council and Senior Class Board

What are you grateful for? “I’m grateful to be part of an environment that has fostered my thirst for knowledge, my passion to be compassionate, and my quest to form relationships of purpose and depth.”

What is your favorite tradition? Since my parents emigrated from India just about 25 years ago, my family has been able to take an Indian spin on Thanksgiving.  We make lamb, go to the temple, and are just glad to have one another.

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Leslie Luther-Jeschke, director of Barrington Area United Way

What are you grateful for? “Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  It is a day of relaxation and a time to remember the grace and fortune of good health, family, and friends.”

What is your favorite tradition? “One tradition that we have continued at the Thanksgiving table is for each of us to say one thing for which we are grateful.”

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Sarah Cuthbertson, president of Barrington Junior Women’s Club

What are you grateful for? “I am most grateful for my family and friends because they bring joy and laughter to my life.”

What is your favorite tradition? “Every Thanksgiving my family gathers at my parents house for dinner.  We always end up eating too much and laughing a lot.” 

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Mrs. Oberg, English teacher

What are you grateful for? “My family. They’re stupendous and I’m very lucky to have them.”

What is your favorite tradition? “Nothing unique. My sister-in-law and I used to take turns hosting when the kids were younger.”

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Dee Gallagher-Johnson, director/owner of Bataille

What are you grateful for? “I am grateful to have a warm home, a healthy family, and the means to prepare a full meal for all who share Thanksgiving with us.”

What is your favorite tradition? “Our family tradition is that the day or so after Thanksgiving, we fill up several backpacks with food and warm clothes, take the train to Chicago and pass them out to the homeless as we walk from the train to see the Christmas Tree.”  

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Mr. McWilliams, BHS principal

What are you grateful for? “I have a great family and a great job- what else could you ask for?

What is your favorite tradition? “Nothing out of the ordinary. Is there football? Yeah. Is there turkey? Yeah.”

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Kim Duchossois,  Barrington philanthropist

What are you grateful for? “I’m infinitely grateful for good health, family, the smiles of my four grandsons, dear friends, laughter, generations to come, exceptional role models and mentors young and old, clean air, the miracle of nature and its daunting beauty, and of course for our freedom and peace.”

What is your favorite tradition? “As in many families, before our meal we share around the table what each of us has been most thankful for during the year. Then a blessing is always said before our “stuffing” begins.”

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 Karen Darch, Village President

What are you grateful for? “I am most grateful for faith, family, friends and freedom- especially for all those who have made and kept freedom a reality.”

What is your favorite tradition? “Food and football are the order of the day. The kids have participated in the neighborhood “turkey bowl” football game for years. We share our traditional Thanksgiving feast together in late afternoon.”