Thanksgiving Across Harriton

A Series of Interviews With Students and Teachers


Many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving because it is a time for reuniting with families, jumping in piles of leaves, watching football and the The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and of course, the Black Friday shopping that follows. However, the main event that brings everyone together on Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, the food. 

You might have a narrow perspective about the holiday’s foods based on your own traditions, yet families all across Harriton, and America, celebrate differently. After all, Thanksgiving—compared to the candy-norm Halloween and the red, white, and blue foods of The Fourth of July— is a smorgasbord.

Here in the Northeast, we are known for sticking to tradition, with turkey, stuffing, a side of baked vegetables, and some mashed potatoes.

We chatted with some of our fellow classmates and teachers for some insight into their different Thanksgiving foods, beginning with their favorite foods.

Mr. Schweitzer said his favorite Thanksgiving food is hot salad, which is a salad with a hot dressing made of bacon and eggs. He also likes oyster stuffing. 

Mrs. Wamsley said that her favorite food is a sandwich with leftovers the day after Thanksgiving. 

Principal Mr. Weinstein said that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday because it is so family oriented. On Thanksgiving, he enjoys watching football and eating chocolate pudding pie. 

Ms. Hileman said her mom picks out their family’s turkey while they are still alive. 

An equally wonky tradition includes Harriton student Loretta Farell’s, who said that her great uncle buys gigantic pumpkins at Halloween and then has her family over at Thanksgiving to push the pumpkins down a hill and watch them explode! How cool is that? 

Harriton student Vaikko Toyka lived in Massachusetts, the home of cranberry bogs, and said that in school the students would do activities with cranberries like bouncing them on the floor. 

Joey Beh added that at his family’s Thanksgiving dinner, whoever can eat heaps of food and not puke or go to the bathroom, gets a second dessert. Clearly, different people’s families are well, different. 

Leo Stein enjoys cranberry applesauce on Thanksgiving day, and Kate Ferenchick enjoys the battle over the Wishbone. 

Sonia Gomes eats chicken instead of turkey, and Ms. Petronella’s family bakes around ten pies, most of which are pumpkin. 

Kate Leventson said that her family sometimes fries their turkey for dinner and their Oreos for dessert! Also, Mrs. Wamsley mentioned that she goes to Shady Maple, the largest buffet in the United States, the day after Thanksgiving with her family and eats even more. 

As Mr. Weinstein mentioned, Thanksgiving is a family oriented holiday. Therefore, it was no surprise that many of these food traditions revolved around friends and family. Most of our interviewees said that their traditions are about the food because it has the power to bring people together, enjoy one another’s company, and create new traditions in and out of the kitchen. 

Leah Kallen plays football outside or hangs with her friends. Abby Noble reunites with her dog-cousin for the first time all year, and Sabrina Lee travels to New York City the day after Thanksgiving with her neighbors. 

The day after Thanksgiving, Ms. Frechie hosts a Korean Friendsgiving, dining with twenty five friends at a Korean barbeque restaurant for her mom’s birthday. 

Gracie Gaber uses the holiday as a time to give back to others; she and her family volunteer at a soup kitchen every Thanksgiving and spread happiness to those who might not have had a big, warm dinner to reunite with their family. 

And, of course, lots of people mentioned their tradition of watching or attending Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, including Dr. Fritz and Mr. Powers. 

Although food might be the perceived best part of the Thanksgiving holiday, the day would not be as meaningful without our loved ones and traditions. The food on each family’s table reflects their familial traditions and the places they live. As time passes, traditions and foods will continue to change. Despite the variety of menus of Harriton students and teachers on Thanksgiving day, the food is just an additional bonus to the holiday’s ability to bring loved ones together at a single table.