In their November editorial, Holly and Jordan pause to give thanks after a turbulent year.
In the UK, Thanksgiving can feel like an alien concept to us. After all, what's a British Christmas without bitching about your family to your uni friends, complaining about Boris Johnson over the dinner table (which will definitely set off your not actually racist uncle), before vomiting over your childhood bedroom from too much mashed potato and mulled wine. November for us is mainly cold weather, only accentuated by the 12-hour Daft Friday queue we all ritually choose to suffer, as we begrudge through deadlines. There's hardly time to make sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows.
There is no denying there are controversies surrounding the celebration of Thanksgiving. But we don’t want to use this editorial to discuss the history of colonialism that is rooted in every American tradition, we want to tell you what we’re thankful for. Brits criticise Americans for a lot, often rightly (sorry Jordan), but taking some time at the end of the year to dwell on the positives is something we all could use right now.
This year, there isn't a person who hasn't suffered in some capacity. Suffering, of course, happens every year, but perhaps not in the quantities 2020 has been serving us. We don't need to discuss what we've lost, because the list would go on forever. However, now more than ever, we can appreciate what we do have. We can appreciate our friends, family, and health. Over the last 10 months, we've learned to know how it is to live without these things, and in turn, have begun to appreciate them more.
History aside, we'd like to recount what we're thankful for. Holly's thankful for the stash of Tunnocks caramel wafers in the office, the people in her life, and the opportunity to be writing these words. She's not quite sure how she managed to bag this position, but she's sure it's one of the best things she's ever done. She's also extremely grateful for the latest trailer for The Crown; goosebumps. Jordan's thankful for his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes being undefeated so far, the fact this paper still continues despite the stresses of this year, and the wonderful support his friends have provided, especially being far from home during this time of year.
We spoke to members of the team to ask them what they're thankful for this year:
Tara Gandhi, Social Media and Production Manager: 2020 put me through the ringer, but I met my boyfriend, which has been this year’s saving grace. I’m also so grateful I have been able to start therapy, something I am lucky to have access to.
Rebecca Scott, Deputy Editor-in-Chief: I’m grateful for having found the most solid support group through The GG. Going through university life as a home student was really difficult, and this was only exacerbated when classes were all put online. But thanks to The GG, I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by the most wonderful and supportive friends and flatmates, for whom I’m so entirely thankful.
Rosie Shackles, Culture Editor: I am grateful for takeaways. They have provided a means of keeping track of what happened when during this Groundhog Year. Just about the only thing I can remember from May is my parents 27th wedding anniversary - celebrated with curry- and the rest seems to be a strange, stressful blur. Takeaways seem to have marked all the 2020 milestones; my brother’s graduation (Chinese carry-out), my boyfriend moving to London (Julie’s Kopitiam), and my 21st with my lovely flatmates (Waitrose sushi and a hungover Dumpling Monkey). Normally we would celebrate with parties or dinners out, trips away and whole families together, but until we can do that again, I am indebted to the humble takeaway.
Sofia Stephens, Books Editor: This year I'm grateful for the chance to slow down and refocus, for the chance to read everything I never had time for, for the shine of my plant's new leaves, for the blurriness of my camera when I cry on the phone to my mum, for sausage rolls for just £1, for the feeling of seeing the sunrise over the Clyde, for the cute grocery boy bagging my tomatoes, and for the big, heart-warming, never-ending love of those around me.
Hailie Pentleton, Views Editor: This year I’m grateful for the 20 years of practice I had at expecting the world to collapse around me, it’s made the real thing much more bearable. I’m also extra appreciative of colourful cardigans and chunky knit socks, forever saving me from daring to give Scottish Power an extra penny of my hard-earned student loan.
Michelle Osborne, Science and Tech Editor: This year I'm grateful for the internet existing... for so many reasons but mostly so I can keep in touch with all my family and friends during this lovely pandemic.
Genevieve Brown, Culture Editor: I’m grateful for box bleach and nail varnish. I can’t justify gaming with all my uni work so I’m being my own Sim!
Traditionally, this celebration is also an opportunity to think about those who are less fortunate. As we take time to express our gratitude, we should also think about those who aren't as lucky as us. More importantly than thinking, we should also do. To be generous, you don't need to drop your Pret subscription in exchange for a donation to charity (although this would be a lovely thing to do). Perhaps, you give one of your five coffees to someone who can't afford a warm drink this month. Or even checking in on the friend you've noticed has stopped coming to Zoom socials, reminding them how happy you are to have them in your life. In the immortal words of the messiah, Harry Styles, treat people with kindness.