NEWSStudent Life

A Leonia Thanksgiving: Foods and Traditions

On November 23rd, all around the United States, people of all cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds gather around a table to feast on various foods and celebrate different familial traditions on Thanksgiving. Let’s take a look at what Leonia High School teachers and students love eating for the holiday and find out about their traditions. 

Junior Samantha Giangarra notes, “My favorite Thanksgiving food is mashed potatoes and corn, and my favorite tradition is when my family and I go around the table and we say something that we are grateful for.” This is a popular opinion as mashed potatoes are a well known favorite Thanksgiving dish for many people of different cultures.

Junior Katerina Romanides comments, “As a tradition, I make pasteles with my family. We’ve done it every year since I can remember. My favorite food has to be turkey and the arroz con gandules my grandma makes.” 

Senior Aleidy Mejia Diaz says, “I really like stuffing and we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving traditionally since we are Latino. We mostly celebrate in a Dominican way and eat pastelitos. My family and I would gather in one house and we would play music, have drinks, and eat together. We technically don’t eat at a table and instead we scatter because there isn’t enough space for everyone.”

Junior Jasmine Putyatina comments, “My favorite would probably have to be apple crumble pie with vanilla ice cream and we don’t really have traditions, but we always watch a movie after Thanksgiving dinner.”

Junior Kayla Noh notes, “Our family eats chicken instead of turkey sometimes. I have two Thanksgivings because I celebrate with my mom’s and dad’s side. On my mom’s side, we eat chicken or duck, mashed potatoes, and the sweet potato casserole. We would make fried onion rings for the picky eaters. On my dad’s side, we want to be as American as possible so we have turkey and mashed potatoes, and my dad’s family is more conservative so they have the women cook or we go out somewhere. On my mom’s side, my dad and brother are allowed to cook. Sometimes we would have some Korean stuff since my cousin’s are picky eaters. We have everybody come to our house as tradition and we get to take them around places, show them the house, and do typical American stuff. We say what we are grateful for and we are Christian so we pray.”

Mr. Krajcsovics, a history teacher, says, “My favorite food is my brother in law’s cranberry salad with citrus flavor, and my favorite tradition is that my mom makes us wear funny turkey hats every year.” 

Mrs. Antonucci, the financial literacy teacher, comments, “My favorite thing to eat is stuffed mushrooms. I always make the mushrooms and we always have butternut squash soup and watch the Christmas movie Home Alone.” 

Everybody has their favorite foods and traditions on Thanksgiving. According to the Leonia High School population, the best foods to eat on the holiday are stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turkey.

We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!



Written by Sophie Gaevaya ’25 and Regan Lynch ’24

Edited by: Katerina Romanides