Students share their quirky Thanksgiving traditions

Many students are preparing to reunite with family members during fall break next week while others have different plans.


Valerie Levy enjoys her family’s unique Thanksgiving traditions.

Levy, a sophomore English major, her sister Rina and their cousins always take a group picture where they climb on top of each other to form a pyramid.

“Last year, the baby of the family appeared on top of the pyramid, and the year before that we all wore onesies for the picture,” Levy said.

Her cousins, Dave Belgorodsky and Steve Handwerger use couch pillows to slide along the floor for their annual pillow sliding races.

“They start in the party room, run in and flop down on the pillow on their stomachs and see who slides the farthest,” she said. “Sometimes my sister and I try to get in on the competition, but it is a lot harder than it looks.”

Temple University’s fall break begins next week and many students are heading home to spend time with their friends and families in anticipation of Thanksgiving on Nov. 22.

Delfina Costa, a freshman journalism major, constantly travels from one family member’s house to another, eating several Thanksgiving meals along the way.

“It’s a lot of traveling, but it is fun because I get to see everyone in my family,” Costa said.

For sophomore education major Rachel Barth, her family’s Thanksgiving meal is a little more non-traditional.

Main dishes include ham, since some people in her family, including her brother Eric, dislike the traditional Thanksgiving meat, she said.

“By having two main entrees, it actually satisfies everyone in the entire family,” Barth said.  

For other students, Thanksgiving is not a major holiday.

Tarek Yahya, a freshman biology major and international student from Lebanon, decided to wait until winter break and Christmas to visit his family. Although Thanksgiving isn’t a part of the Lebanese culture, Yahya’s family celebrates the holiday anyway.

“Everyone does Thanksgiving dinner during the week of Thanksgiving, or the week after, but it’s only because we try to be modern,” he said. “We get a stuffed turkey and regular Thanksgiving food.”

According to the National Turkey Federation, a nonprofit advocating for the turkey industry, more than 80 percent of Americans eat millions of turkeys each Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is widely known in the United States as a day of over-eating food like turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles and more.

”I like Thanksgiving because its a day to get together with family and feel grateful for all of the good in life,” Levy said.

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