With Thanksgiving around the corner, many students are gearing up to head home and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season with family and friends. Everyone has different traditions and recipes to make the day special, but to top it, off here are ten solid reasons to love the holiday of thanks.

Good, homemade food. The entire holiday revolves around cooking a wonderful meal for the whole family to enjoy, and some classic Thanksgiving dishes include turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing and pumpkin pie. If you need advice on how to enjoy it all, a third-year University of Maine student Jason Morill said, “my goal is to fit a least a little bit of everything on my plate.”

Quality time with family. Another vital aspect of Thanksgiving is time spent bonding with family, including extended family like grandparents and cousins. This is especially significant for college students who spend large portions of the year away from their family, so treasure the time you have together.

Bonding with friends. So called “Friendsgivings” have become a more popular occurrence in the recent years, and are defined by Thanksgiving celebrations spent with friends instead of family. Many college students put these on in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving with roommates and close friends as a way to celebrate the close bonds shared between them.

A break from schoolwork. Every college student can agree that the end of the semester can be hectic and overwhelming, so Thanksgiving can be a great relief from schoolwork and responsibilities to recoup and recharge.

The Macy’s Day Parade. It is a tradition for millions of Americans to wake up on Thanksgiving morning and gather around the television to see the giant Snoopy balloon, the parade of colorful floats, the array of celebrity guests and the much-anticipated visit from Santa Claus himself.

The Westminster Dog Show. In the United States, dogs are celebrated and adored. This dog show is all about recognizing the best of the best. Tune in at noon on Thanksgiving to find out which dog will take the prize as Best in Show.

Football games. There are three scheduled NFL games for turkey day, starting with the Vikings versus the Lions. Many look forward to Thanksgiving football games, including Corey Claflin, a third-year UMaine student. “I love watching football on Thanksgiving, especially pre-meal watching the 12:30 p.m. game and then post-meal watching the 4:30 p.m. game after you just ate a ton of food.”

Getting hyped for the holidays. Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the winter holiday season, and many celebrate this by decorating with lights and holiday adornments. Some may even indulge in  rocking to Christmas carols to get hyped up.

Being thankful. Thanksgiving is designed to remind people of all their blessings in life, and to reflect on what they’re grateful for. Isaiah Mansour, a fifth-year UMaine student, reflected on this, saying, “I’m grateful to the people that have shown me what gratitude is and have expanded my capacity to feel grateful for what I have. I think that’s something that I think everyone needs to work on, including me.”

And finally, leftovers sandwiches. The riches of Thanksgiving can last for days afterwards, and the best way to enjoy the bountiful leftovers is to heap it into a sandwich. Claflin shares his secret to the perfect sandwich, saying, “It starts with the bread, you need good solid bread. I usually go for an oatmeal type. Then for the insides I usually do turkey, gravy, stuffing, another slice of bread, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and another slice of bread.” Perfection.