An Explosive Thanksgiving
Most people envision the Fourth of July when they think of explosive holidays. At the Hammond household, Thanksgiving is when the real fireworks happen.
Every November, Ben Hammond, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Monroe, and his family blow things up on Thanksgiving Day using explosive targets and lots of guns. They have been doing this for the past five years. “My big extended family all comes and they bring four or five guns each because they really like guns,” says Ben. His grandfather has a collection of vintage items, so their guns look like the came out of a Civil War armory.
The Hammond family has a fully functioning shooting range in their backyard where all of the festivities take place. Exploding targets are attached to trees, kerosene tanks and pretty much any item that will produce a fantastic explosion. “Five pounds of that stuff will blow up a cement mixer,” says Ben of the exploding targets.
Of course, this fiery activity is not without risk. While the Hammonds do their best to keep safe, there have been some inevitable mishaps. One such occasion was when Ben accidently blew up his mother’s walking bridge. She eventually forgave him.
Ben acknowledges that this Thanksgiving activity may not be the ideal way to celebrate for every family. But for the Hammonds, controlled destruction is a bonding experience. “It keeps the tensions down,” Ben jokes. Next year, they might just blow up that cement mixer.
Chinese for Christmas
The beloved holiday movie “A Christmas Story” features a family eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve because that is the only restaurant open. Ashley Cown, a junior interior design major from Athens, and her family have adopted this same quirky tradition.
Originally, the Cowns weren’t trying to recreate the movie scene, but they quickly realized that their Chinese takeout ritual was a pop-cultural coincidence. “One year, someone had the idea to order Chinese food, and it just stuck,” says Ashley. The Cowns have been doing this for the past five years.
They certainly aren’t alone in this tradition. While “A Christmas Story” was fictional, it accurately portrayed the fact that Chinese restaurants are open on the holidays when even grocery stores are closed. It is, by default, the best option for eating out on Christmas.
It’s no surprise that the first year Ashley’s family ordered Christmas takeout, she ran into one of her friends with her dad at the restaurant doing the exact same thing.
For Ashley, Christmas tastes a lot like sesame chicken with white rice. And she loves the flavor.