Thanksgiving Traditions


Sofie Sharpe

Parades, cranberries, knitted sweaters, and Grandma’s green bean casserole. You know the image. It’s that season again. On the 26th, people all across America will celebrate the day in a range of different ways. The students at College Park are no different. 

As Thanksgiving approaches, students look forward to the main course of the day: the food. It seems with many students, the actual preparation of the food outshines the feast.

“Every year my family makes desserts called empanaditas for after the big feast,” senior Nelly Castro said. “Empanaditas are my favorite thing to eat and they have so many nice memories attached to them, especially since it’s the job of the little ones to mix the flour, baking soda, sugar, and hot water together with our hands while the adults fill them with whatever jam we deice on for that year.”

Other students share a similar sentiment. Spending time with the family is, afterall, the Thanksgiving spirit!

“My grandparents always prepare a meal of turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans- the typical Thanksgiving meal in essence.” senior Hayley Jue said. “One tradition we’ve had since I was little is taking pictures with the turkey drumsticks.”

When the feast is over and everyone is content, there comes the age old question: what now? As they say, boredom is the mother of invention. Just like with food, the students at College Park have a myriad of activities they participate in on Turkey Day. 

“My family will always invite over everyone we know and host a huge party,” senior Richard Garcia said. “We would even hire someone to play songs on the guitar for the night.”

On the topic of parties, a type of party rising in recent years is “Friendsgiving.” These Friendsgivings occur either on or near Thanksgiving, when friends gather and hold a feast just like they would with their family. 

“I don’t really have any games or special traditions within my family, other than the standard Thanksgiving dinner,” senior Amelie Hidijat. “Outside of my family, I do have Friendsgiving which I consider an extremely important Thanksgiving tradition.”

For many, games are a big part of the fun of Thanksgiving. With a surplus of family around, fun little activities are a great way to reconnect after being apart. 

“Every Thanksgiving we all make sure to collect spare change and dollar bills so we’re prepared to play Loteria and win some money while talking and laughing at the table,” Castro said. “At my aunt’s ranch they recently built a treehouse and since last year my cousins and I take out sleeping bags up there and stay up all night watching movies on our laptops and playing games like mafia or uno.”

While games are an ageless activity, some look back on the Thanksgivings of their childhood and think about the ways they celebrated.

“My brother and I used to play a game of tag in a large area of woods with some of the neighboring kids,” Villareal said. “[Now] immediately after eating and clearing the table it is required that I take a two to three hour nap.”

There are just a few of the many, many traditions people take part in during Thanksgiving. While eating and playing are all well and good, sometimes it’s the little things that count. Huddling up on the couch, gathering by the fireplace, talking quietly as the dishes are washed. The warm, nostalgic scenes of Thanksgiving. 

“Since Thanksgiving is near the end of the year,” Jue said. “I take the day to reflect on the year’s happy moments and everything that I am thankful for.”