Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

America Shows Its Thanks For Instagram


-Marissa Tomko

According to National Geographic the world’s first photograph was taken in 1826 by a French scientist named Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. The exposure time of the bitumen-coated plate took hours, and the photo had to be properly lit in order to be viewed. This process marked the beginning of the history of photography

Fast forward almost two hundred years, and you’ll find another milestone moment in the world of photography. Only this time, instead of one image per day, it’s 226 images per second. And instead of a bitumen-coated plate, it’s Instagram, an app that enables Apple and Android users to share their lives through photographs in retro-looking filters. It combines old looks with new technology—and it’s absolutely brilliant. This Thanksgiving, Instagramming Americans set a new record by posting ten million photos onto the app, doubling the amounts that are uploaded other days of the year.

I have found the general consensus among my peers to be that Instagram is the place to be. Some have gone so far as to say it has made sites such as Facebook irrelevant, which is ironic considering that the company purchased Instagram for one billion dollars earlier this year.

In any case, it is clear that Americans were thankful for the app this year, posting pictures of meals, family, and decor during the holiday. While people have been photographing these things for so many years, there’s something about Instagram that makes us care more about the turkey other people are eating. Maybe it’s the old time-y filters that make something ordinary extraordinary. Or maybe it’s the simplicity—you scroll through pictures and double tap them if you “like” them. No matter what its draw, it seems that Instagram will be documenting our holiday season at insane rates, and Thanksgiving was just the beginning. Happy holidays and happy gramming!


Black Friday Madness

-Jamie Hershman

Every year, crazy sales-obsessed Americans line up in the wee hours of the morning after they’ve finished their double round plates of turkey and stuffing in hopes of being the first in line for Black Friday shopping. This year, while all the sane people were sleeping in their warm beds, I was lined up at 11 p.m. waiting for the stores in the mall to open at midnight. While I was mostly there as an outside observer to all the craziness, I did give in to a few of the sub-par deals that are highly advertised for Black Friday.

When I arrived at the mall, the lines were already in full force. Urban Outfitters had hundreds of people lined up that extended outside the mall. Security was lined up and ready for the massive amount of people that were eager for their exclusive Black Friday deals of fifty percent off already sale-priced items. Since the sale was only lasting until 10 a.m. on Friday, there was no other option but to arrive early and sift through all the good finds.

I refused to wait in the line at Urban Outfitters, but I visited the store just thirty minutes after it officially opened at midnight. Everything was trashed, and they were already out of stock on all sale item accessories. It was complete madness.

But, it was probably a blessing that there weren’t any items left for sale because a clear line wasn’t even visible. A large mob of people stood throughout every corner of the store waiting for a chance to get close enough to the cash register to swipe their Visa and exit the claustrophobic setting.

As my friend and I left the mall exhausted around one in the morning, we stumbled across a DJ booth blasting top 40 music to keep the crowd going. We felt as though we had just survived a tough battle, crawling out of the line of fire of the consumer-driven world. The lengths these businesses will go to get customers to keep buying more is a little ridiculous. Just like I told myself the last year and the year before that, I will never go Black Friday shopping again.

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Get Creative and Reuse Leftovers

-Rache’ll Brown

On a typical night, my mom makes enough food to feed an army—so imagine the mass amounts of chow served on holidays. The leftovers alone are equivalent to a meal suited for a large family, and over the years we have developed ways to make use of it all without wasting a thing. Yes, some leftovers are amazing the second day, but when you have so much it is easy for it to all go to waste. The solution? Make a new meal out of your old one!

I’m going to start by saying my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the mashed potatoes. However, reheated mashed potatoes are kind of disgusting – it just isn’t the same. This is something my grandparents used to do when I was younger, and I still do to this day: potato pancakes! Making potato pancakes out of your leftover mash provides a delicious breakfast the day after that everyone can enjoy. Normally, people mix in a beaten egg with the mashed potato before frying to hold everything together, but I’m lazy and hate eggs, so I make a small, flat disk and fry it up enough to make the insides warm and the outsides crispy. This is kind of a heavy breakfast, so I have it with fruit, but you can pair it with whatever you like (perhaps a scramble filled with leftover meat and veggies?).

Another great way to use up leftovers is by making casserole or soup. Disney Family has a bunch of delicious recipes for soups and casseroles, but these dishes are the easiest to make! Just throw a little leftover poultry into a pot with some sort of stock, leftover vegetables, and random seasonings. Voilà! Dinner. These types of meals are really hard to mess up, and you don’t have to follow a super specific recipe to make them because they are usually just a mesh of random ingredients anyways.

So this Thanksgiving, don’t waste any food! Get creative and put your leftovers to use. Recycling a meal can be fun, and finding a great new combo is always a plus. Remember, this method doesn’t have to be used after a holiday. After all, we are in college and money is tight. Don’t waste any food, get creative, and make something new.

Flux Photo Essay: Why We Love Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the Flux blog staff! We celebrate what we’re most thankful for on this day, including the day itself. Here are just a few of the aspects of Thanksgiving that make this holiday a grand time.


My favorite part about Thanksgiving is the weather. I love the autumn leaves falling off the trees and the brisk wind chill that goes along with it. It’s the best season of the year!



One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the Thanksgiving decorations. Every year my mom decorates our dining room table with flowers, candles, and little pilgrims, and it always looks so beautiful for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the little things that make the holiday that much better!


The best part about Thanksgiving is the journey home. The anticipation of reaching my final destination is the most solid part of any holiday for me. Driving home from school, all I could think about was the moment I’d see my dogs when I walked through the door. Driving to my Grandma’s on Thanksgiving, all I could think about was how great it would feel to have some of the best people in my life together all at once. Sometimes it’s not about the destination—it’s about the journey, and it doesn’t get any better than going home on a beautiful fall day!


My absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving happens after we eat the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. We all sit down and play a game or two of Tripoli using the board that my grandfather made. It is an incredibly fun game to play, especially with a lot of people.


My favorite part about Thanksgiving is the neighborhood walk my family takes every year! It’s such a nice way to start the day, and you can spend time being active with the ones you love.


My favorite part of Thanksgiving is, quite simply, deviled eggs. They’re a brilliant food, and my mum only makes them twice a year. I’ve tried to make them on my own, but it’s just not the same.

The Perfect Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Thanksgiving Treat

-Whitney Menefee

There’s nothing better than going home for a long Thanksgiving weekend and enjoying a delicious home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. At my house, Thanksgiving dinner is different than most. Both my mom and sister have severe food allergies and cannot eat gluten or dairy. Gluten and dairy are two very common ingredients and are particularly difficult to avoid during the Thanksgiving holiday. Knowing that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, my mom worked hard to put together her own gluten-free, dairy-free Thanksgiving dessert recipe: chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. And let me tell you, they are delicious! So, whether you have food allergies or not, this is a perfect Thanksgiving dessert!


1 cup almond flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon apple pie spice (or a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup light olive oil
2 T raw agave syrup
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 or ½ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 can pumpkin
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

First, preheat oven to 350°. Then, use a medium size mixing bowl and combine almond flour, brown rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, apple pie spice mix, ground cinnamon, and xanthan gum.

In a separate medium size mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Then, add the oil, syrup, brown sugar, chocolate chips, pumpkin, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, and stir for 2 minutes.

Then, spoon ¼ of a cup of batter into each cupcake cup, place them into a cupcake pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I can’t imagine what it would be like without dessert, so I hope this recipe serves as a yummy dessert option for anyone who suffers from food allergies. Enjoy my mom’s gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Save the Date: Thanksgiving’s Long Road

-Marissa Tomko

In elementary school, learning about Thanksgiving was a simple affair. We dressed up as pilgrims and Indians (probably in a politically incorrect manner), and sang about turkey and Indian corn. We were led to believe such a powwow occurred annually since the autumn of 1621, when the English settlers in Plymouth celebrated their plentiful harvest with the native Wampanoag tribe—the tribe who taught the pilgrims to fish, hunt, and grow crops on a land that was theirs for years. However, the official day of Thanksgiving wasn’t set for more than three hundred years after those festivities. Like most things in the history of our country, the birth of modern day Thanksgiving was not that simple—it was tangled and complex.

Although the events of 1621 are believed by many Americans to be the start of an annual tradition, the harvest celebration wasn’t meant to be repeated. In fact, on subsequent days the settlers devoted to giving thanks revolved around fasting, not eating, and were based in Puritan traditions.

In 1777, the Continental Congress stated that the thirteen colonies were to celebrate annually to give thanks for defeating the British at Saratoga. However, a fixed day for such celebrations was not made official. In 1789, President George Washington declared an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, but it still did not become an annual tradition.

Thanksgiving did not become an official holiday until 1863, thanks to a magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale. She believed that having an official day of thanks would create a more united country, and stop a civil war from breaking out. She wrote letters to the country’s leaders, and was eventually heard-President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day. This marked the beginning of the modern holiday, but the celebration day did not remain set.

In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up a week in order to give retailers a longer holiday season so that they could rake in more money. This decision was not accepted by all Americans, and in 1941, the president signed a bill that made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of November, which is where it stands today.

Image from pixabay.com

The 10 Best Things About Fall

-Jamie Hershman

There’s nothing better than when the weather starts changing and you get to break out all the cold weather habits that make you smile. Read on for my personal opinion on the greatest aspects of autumn.

#1 Pumpkin spice everything

Pumpkin spice is the best thing that ever happened to the world. Is there really anything better than a pumpkin-spice latte with a piece of pumpkin pie? The answer is no, unless you add a pumpkin spice candle and maybe a pumpkin loaf.

#2 Sweater weather (is better weather)

Wearing big, comfy sweaters is one of the best parts of the season. Knowing there’s a little chill in the air makes it all the better to snuggle up in your softest knits and warmest boots and face the cool air without the slightest shiver.

#3 Football season

Duck football. Need I say more?

#4 Costumes, candy, and Halloween weekend

This is your one chance of the year to get especially creative with your costumes and go all out in dressing up. It’s only appropriate one night a year to dress like a weirdo and go around knocking on stranger’s doors asking for candy. Start brainstorming that really unique costume now. Also, three nights to celebrate one holiday has never been so great. A high schooler’s Halloween hardly compares to the college version.

#5 Hot tea

I guess you could drink hot tea in the 90-degree summer weather, but we all know that it tastes so much better when it’s cold out. Plus, there are so many different options: herbal, green, black, or maybe even a piping hot oolong.

#6 Thanksgiving

Seriously, food is one of the best things about fall: turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple pie, and family and friends. It just keeps getting better.

#7 The changing colors

Walking along a path filled with red and orange leaves with trees bursting with yellow is such a beautiful sight. Instagram that picture as soon as possible before all the leaves fall off for good (or at least until spring).

#8 Birthdays

Specifically mine. Not that I’m biased or anything, but my birthday is always the greatest.

#9 Fall TV

All the best TV shows start up again for a new season. Summer television is all reality all the time, so it’s fun to actually catch up on a show you’ve been craving for three months. Plus, there are always new shows to get excited about.

#10 It’s that much closer to winter

Winter break is just around the corner and so are the holidays. It’s almost time to sell back your fall term books for good and then break out the Christmas tree or Menorah. It’s the perfect transition from one great season to another, filled with holiday treats and presents. Truly, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

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Why this Black Friday was Worse than Others

-Tamara Feingold

Fortunately, I locked myself in a cabin on the beach for Thanksgiving, free of cell phone service and cut off from civilization. I’ll admit I was a little jealous of my friends waking up early Friday morning to impossibly tempting shopping deals. But when I returned to the land of WiFi on Sunday, I was glad to have spared myself the trouble. I scrolled through pages and pages of news titles about Black Friday brawls, exceptionally long lines, and record-breaking purchase amounts. These are the reasons this year was the worst:

  1. Black Friday didn’t even start on Friday. Wal Mart opened at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving and Target and Macy’s opened at midnight. Just the thought of speed shopping after stuffing yourself with turkey and pumpkin pie is uncomfortable. What happened to the infamous Thanksgiving food coma?
  2. This riot over a $2 waffle iron at Wal Mart looks like a mosh pit at a metal concert.
  3. One group camped out at Best Buy for four nights and ate Thanksgiving dinner in their tent to save money on flat screen TVs and whatever other deals the store was offering. And we thought the Twilight Saga campers were intense…
  4. CNN said a record $52.4 billion was spent this weekend. So. Much. Money.
  5. As if one day of madness wasn’t enough, Cyber Monday has been added to the mix. This year, millions of shoppers are expected to shop online for deals.

Photo taken from CNN.com

Flux Playlist: Songs About Food

-Flux Blog Staff

Everybody knows that Thanksgiving is about one thing and one thing only: the food. An entire day in which we can eat as much turkey and mashed potatoes as humanly possibly without a shred of guilt. And while the holiday may have already passed, it doesn’t mean that some of us aren’t still living off the leftovers from Turkey Day. So here’s a list of songs to listen to while you munch on your leftovers.

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  • Lost in the Supermarket -The Clash
  • Bangers & Mash -Radiohead
  • Red Wine, Success! -Cold War Kids


  • Candyman -Christina Aguilera
  • Pumpkin Soup -Kate Nash
  • Corona & Lime -Shwayze


  • Crap Kraft Dinner -Hot Chip
  • Party in my Tummy -Yo Gabba Gabba
  • The Worst Pies in London -Stephen Sondheim


  • Peanut Butter Jelly Time -Buckwheat Boyz
  • Be Our Guest -Beauty and the Beast
  • Hungry Eyes -Eric Carmen


  • Pork and Beans -Weezer
  • Ham and Eggs -A Tribe Called Quest