Thanksgiving favorites: families feast with food, fun

Cora DeWyre ‘21, Circulation Manager and Business/AD Manager

Whether it is hanging out with family and friends, or eating the best home cooked meal of the year, Thanksgiving is a time to indulge in various foods and unique traditions. Giving thanks is especially important during this holiday season. 

The holiday is about giving thanks, but also about the feast. With a variety of home cooked meals and diverse dishes, it is a lot easier to be thankful for what is right on your plate. Various students and staff agreed that mashed potatoes were a superior side to compliment the big bird staple piece, but there are plenty of Thanksgiving foods to enjoy. Freshman Luke Swaggerty said, “My favorite dish is mashed potatoes.” Another fan favorite: sweet potato casserole. Spanish teacher Mrs. Brenda Mania said, “The more marshmallows baked on top, the better!”

Some staff and students for the holidays might travel far from home, some might now leave their homes at all, or some just go to different houses each Thanksgiving. Junior Mia Vitale, a traveler during Thanksgiving, said, “My family and I go to New York for Thanksgiving and have a big dinner with my grandparents.” Social studies teacher Mr. Raymond Divitto, someone who prefers to stay closer to home, said, “I remember having Thanksgiving at our house in Southfield with grandparents from each side, both sides of my family are Italian.” He later jokes, “yes, a pasta dish was included”—an Italian spin on their take of Thanksgiving. Other individuals don’t have a plan set in stone for what they do each year. Chemistry teacher Mrs. Lynn Hensley said, “We don’t really have a tradition on Thanksgiving; We rotate between staying home, going to my sisters, and going to my in-laws.” She later adds that a couple years ago, her family went to Chicago to see Hamilton and ended up having pizza for dinner on Thanksgiving. Some families skip ahead with their celebrations, like the Simovski Family. Social studies teacher Mr. Toni Simovski said, “Our Thanksgiving tradition is to put up our Christmas tree which we have ornaments from around the world and play Christmas music while doing it.”

The reigning activity at gatherings is—you’ve guessed it—watching Lions’ football. Several students and staff share traditions of watching the Lions, even if they lose. Freshman Garret Cashen said, “My family’s tradition during Thanksgiving is to watch football, usually by watching the Lions lose.” He adds, even if they don’t end up victorious, “it is still fun.” Like Cashen, some staff members have football-related activities planned. Assistant Principal Mr. Matt Turney said, “In some years, I have also gotten together with a large group of alumni from my high school to play in our annual ‘Turkey Bowl,’ which is a big football game among former players from our school.” Moreover, he states that Thanksgiving is probably his favorite holiday. 

Being in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic poses change to traditional celebrations. Prioritizing family members’ health, social studies teacher Mr. Christopher Schroudt said, “This year will be different; we are not entirely sure what the plan is, but keeping our distance from grandparents and parents is a priority.” With the Coronavirus pandemic in full swing, uncertainty crosses many minds. Simovski said, “[There’s] always a time for family gatherings, but obviously the pandemic has put a damper on things.” Traditionally, families gather in larger settings, but as math teacher Mrs. Jenna Hauch said, “This year will be out of the ordinary because I’m not sure we will all even get together.” She adds in excitement, however, that she is excited to start some traditions with her son. 

Celebrating a holiday of thankfulness is the priority for students and staff members. Favorite foods and dishes accompany activities for many families. With the unprecedented circumstances, traditions might change, but this shall not alter our perspective on giving thanks this holiday season.

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