by ELLE DUMONT '20
Families all around the world come together on the last Thursday in November to celebrate the things in life that they are thankful for. Typical traditions include baking yummy dishes together, watching football, and going around the table saying what they are lucky to have in their lives. At Saint Ursula Academy, girls have unique traditions that they share with their family on this special day.
When asked, “What is a unique tradition that you and your family partake in during Thanksgiving,” 172 girls at SUA shared their personal practices. Many students say that they run a 5k with their entire family! Watching football or even playing football is another popular activity on Thanksgiving day. Many families play board games as well! Along with these popular traditions, SUA students shared their unique customs.
Freshman Abby Lockard’s family goes bowling on Thanksgiving and “someone usually accidentally sets something on fire”. Sophomore Rosemary Sammarco explains, “We have a bowl big enough that you could go sledding in that we only use to make sausage stuffing.” Sophomore Anna Frey’s family “uses the same table cloth to put the food on. One the table cloth there are names of my family from the years before and every year, we sign the table cloth so we can look back at all of the fun drawings.” Freshman Sophie Canter explains, “My family has a tablecloth that we have had for 17 years and each year we all write one thing that we are thankful for on it in Sharpie.” Karaoke and decorating gingerbread houses is something that Sophomore Josie Ruther enjoys doing. She says, “One year, my friend broke his so he said it was a house hit by a hurricane.” Sophomore Sydney Boosveld explains her unique tradition: “My uncle plays the same awful piano solo every year.”Along with these special traditions, a popular activity girls at SUA partake in is setting up the Christmas Tree and hanging ornaments, surrounded by people who they love.
Now onto the good part; food. Turkey and potatoes is the most popular dish among the students at Saint Ursula, with 76 votes. Pumpkin pie comes in second with 53 votes and apple pie is next with 37. Along with these traditional dishes, girls share unique Thanksgiving dishes that they make with their families! Junior Sophia Dugan has a traditional Lebanese food the night before to celebrate her family’s roots. ’Senior Erika Wong's family eats Chinese dishes along with turkey and mashed potatoes, and Senior Maya Goertemoeller’s family prepares Indian dishes for the holiday and enjoys KFC Chicken rather than turkey. Many other SUA students who have family roots in other countries also partake in story telling about their immigration and celebrate their heritage. Whether it is homemade stuffing, love knots with your parents and cousins, or even ordering a pumpkin pie from Frisch’s Big Boy, the table is full of tasty platters.
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? For most girls, the best part of this holiday is seeing family members that they haven’t seen in a while and catching up with relatives and friends; on Thanksgiving, older siblings come home from college and extended family members and cousins fly in. Senior Anna Voelkerding enjoys spending time with relatives from out of town and it is especially nice since “No one is preoccupied with school or work.” Freshman Katherine Lee says, “My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is that we get to drop the worries of the world and everything that is going on around us. Instead, we can take time to reflect on how fortunate we are and spend time with family and friends.” Many SUA families cook yummy treats together, see movies, play charades, and say what they are thankful on Thanksgiving day.
This year, whether it is competing in a Jello eating competition, running the Turkey Trot, putting on a family play, or playing Mario Kart like Freshman Ellie Graham and her family, make this holiday about those you love and the opportunities and gifts we are all blessed to have.