Thanksgiving Traditions

What kind of traditions do students at Lenape have for Thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving is an American tradition that dates back to 1621 when the Pilgrims’ had their first successful harvest thanks to the help of Squanto, a Native American. To celebrate, the Pilgrims had a feast with the local Native American tribes. (“History of Thanksgiving”) Nowadays, most people celebrate with a similar large meal, however, different people have various traditions that go along with the day. To learn what some of them are, I asked fellow students at Lenape how they celebrate Thanksgiving. There are numerous different ways people celebrate, but there are two major categories all of these traditions fit under.


1.  Eating A Large Dinner

While this is the most obvious Thanksgiving tradition, it is one that most everyone shares in common. Although most people have a large meal for Thanksgiving, people have different ways of preparing their dinners.

Most people have the classic dishes of turkey, corn, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, etc., but some like to add a few different dishes to the mix. Sakshi Chopra (’18) likes to make a few Indian dishes for dinner as well. Some people even get their turkeys from specific places. Ben Berkowitz (’19) buys a turkey every year from Dutch Wagon in Medford.

For after dinner, pie seems to be the most popular dessert, but in some cases, chocolate cake is on the menu too. Melody Smith (’20) enjoys ice cream and chocolate cake after her Thanksgiving dinner.

Some families also work together to pitch in for dinner, while some may have a couple people doing most of the cooking. In Emily Michnowski’s family (’20), everyone brings a dessert or side dish to Thanksgiving dinner.

While having a large dinner is the biggest thing in Thanksgiving tradition, there’s not just one way to prepare it.


2.  Spending Time With Family

Whether it’s family and friends coming over, or going over to family, throughout the entire day of Thanksgiving, most people spend time with their loved ones.

Dipabali Jana, Garrett Macrae, and Hannah Bogdan (’20) simply go over to a family member’s house.

Both Shannon McCarthy and Sakshi Chopra (’18) take time to watch football with their families and friends, while Bianca McDonald (’20) likes to combat the football trend and enjoy basketball with her family and friends.

Saumya Mavuri (’20) spends time with her cousins playing board games, and then goes on a walk with her entire family after dinner. Melody Smith (’20) watches Christmas movies with her sister, Ashley Phillip (’21) goes Black Friday shopping with her family after dinner, Braelan Drollas (’20) goes out to play soccer and wiffle ball with family, and Veronica Bautista (’18) packs up all of her leftovers onto plates and drives around Philly with her family to hand out food to people on the streets celebrating Thanksgiving alone. Even though we all celebrate Thanksgiving in different ways, it’s the general consensus that we celebrate it with family and friends.


Thanksgiving is a great day to have a large dinner, spend time with family, and be thankful for all of the blessings in life. How do you spend your Thanksgiving? Hopefully this article has given you an idea for a new tradition this year.


Works Cited:

“History of Thanksgiving.” History,

thanksgiving. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.