Thanksgiving is only a few days away and everyone is eagerly anticipating the traditional, gluttonous feast. We all know the scene; it is cold outside, warm inside grandma’s house and the food is waiting for you on the table. 

You survey the table and immediately find your favorite foods. Once given the green light, you dig in and never look back; that is until afterwards when you realize you have eaten enough food for a small army. 

At any rate, Thanksgiving dinner is a big deal for most families, but what is it that makes this dinner so special? The side dishes, of course. 

According to a poll by FiveThirtyEight, the vast majority of Americans claim their favorite Thanksgiving dish is either ham or turkey. It is classic that the meats get all the attention—it is called “Turkey Day,” after all. 

However, if you believe the meats are what make Thanksgiving dinner so delicious, you are wrong. Side dishes are the perfect complimentary touches to the main sources of protein, and they also add terrific variety to a Thanksgiving table. Imagine how bland your dinner would be if all you could eat was rich ham and possibly dry turkey. 

Now that we have established that sides are what keeps the gears of Thanksgiving dinner turning, I want to discuss which sides are the best. According to a Gallup poll and a poll done by the Pioneer Woman, mashed potatoes were the favorite side dish amongst the majority of Americans polled. I completely agree. 

Mashed potatoes are personally my favorite of the sides, and I was pleased to discover that most of those being polled felt the same. Who could deny the gloriousness of potatoes in their mashed form? They are buttery, creamy and they melt in your mouth.

In my opinion, mashed potatoes could be featured in basically any meal, but they are a must have for Thanksgiving. 

Some other favorites the polls showed people loved are dressing/stuffing and macaroni and cheese. Dressing is usually the perfect pairing with turkey. Turkey tends to be dry, and if you have a moist dressing, it can liven up your plate. Apparently, mac and cheese is the preferred side dish of the south, according to a FiveThirtyEight. 

I do not think I have ever met someone who could not appreciate what mac and cheese adds to a meal. It is thick and cheesy, two of the best adjectives there are when it comes to describing food. 

To wrap up, I would like to end on a bit more of a serious note; not to say Thanksgiving food is not serious business, however. It is definitely easy for us all to be short sighted and we usually tend to focus on things that go wrong in our lives. 

As college students, we usually always feel stressed out because we are at a crucial point in our lives. This Thanksgiving Day, if you are fortunate enough to have a loving family to go home to, be sure to appreciate your time with them, and the food they prepare for you. 

When you are in a rapid frenzy putting food on your plate, remember you heard it first here, side dishes are the MVPs of thanksgiving dinner. 

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