Student Life

Thanksgiving in Leonia

Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but because Leonia is such a diverse neighborhood that Thanksgiving dinner takes many different forms. There are different foods and traditions that are what make Thanksgiving the holiday that it is. We sent a survey to a random selection of students at Leonia High School to see what Thanksgiving looks like for them.

Thanksgiving is a tradition that has been celebrated since 1789. It is a day of giving thanks, spending time with family, and eating good food. Each family is different, especially in Leonia, and we asked the question, “What’s something unique your family does for Thanksgiving?” Although most people’s Thanksgiving entails the standard traditions, some of the unique responses we received include senior Arvind Unnithan, who said his family makes tandoori turkey and senior Akaysia Jensen drinks hot orange juice and watches the Macy’s Parade with her family. When asked what some of their Thanksgiving traditions were, most responded that they simply have dinner with their family, but senior Iris Lee said her family’s tradition is to relax all day and eat sushi instead of turkey.

With all of the stress surrounding school right now, Thanksgiving Break will be a time for many to step back from that and destress. When asked how they will be spending their Thanksgiving Break, most respondents said they will be relaxing and catching up on sleep. However, seniors Iris Lee and Leo Suzuki will be working on their Common App essays and college applications. The stress surrounding college overtakes everybody at some point in their lives, and seniors now are experiencing it like no other. The ability to go to college at all is something to be thankful for in itself. When asked what they are thankful for, everyone responded that they were thankful for their family and friends.

Thanksgiving food is a favorite to many. The turkey, the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the mac and cheese, the apple pie, all of these foods come together to make a beautiful Thanksgiving. When asked what their favorite Thanksgiving food is, everybody responded differently. The answers consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, lasagna, stuffing, pork, cornbread, and pumpkin pie. The most popular one out of these answers was mashed potatoes, and most answers consisted of sides at the dinner, which is surprising due to the fact turkey is the main dish for most families out there.

It is the holiday season and there will be many holidays occurring during this time, and when asked whether they prefer Christmas and Thanksgiving, everybody responded with Christmas except for one unique answer from Arvind Unnithan, who responded with Holi. In such a diverse area, Arvind makes a good point about the importance of broadening that question to address all demographics and not keep it to such a Euro-centric binary.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it is a day of giving thanks. Our lives are constantly filled with different stresses and anxieties, and it is important to take a break from all of those things and reevaluate what you are thankful for while spending time with family and friends and eating good food. Happy Thanksgiving!