September 28, 2023

Thanksgiving is around the corner and people cannot wait to feast on their favorite holiday dishes with their family and friends.

Traditional meals vary across the U.S., making Thanksgiving unique to each group that gathers. The most popular dishes made for Thanksgiving are turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, candied yams, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.

Even though these are some of the most popular dishes, people across the country have different traditions and add diverse twists to their regular Thanksgiving dishes.

Nico Calcitas, freshman pre-nursing student, said his family has its own unique tradition.

“We actually change the turkey and go with Cornish hens instead,” Calcitas said. “Everyone will have their own Cornish hen and we usually season it with soy, garlic and honey.”

Thanksgiving is about family and friends coming together to give thanks, enabling people to show appreciation and have fun with one another. Families come together to make and share their favorite meals and create their own traditions.

Kene Thomas, sophomore psychology major, said one of her favorite Thanksgiving meals is a sweet ham her mother makes.

“Before we take a bite of our meal, we all have to go around the table, no matter how many people are there, and say what we’re grateful for,” Thomas said. “I look forward to being around my family. We have some family that comes from out of state and being all together is just really cool.”

Thanksgiving provides some time off for people to value time with their family and friends or try some new things.

Megan Rea, administrative services manager for Finance and Administration at California Baptist University, said one of her favorite dishes made in her household is lobster mac-and-cheese, but she wants to explore new traditions for future Thanksgiving holidays as a family.

“A unique meal we make is the lobster mac-and-cheese and it is my favorite,” Rea said. “I look forward to rejuvenation time with myself and my family. I want to do more Thanksgiving trips, adventuring and sightseeing around California.”

Thanksgiving is not just about the meals. It is about bringing the people who you care about most together and giving thanks.

Traditions can range from two people breaking the wishbone of the turkey to everyone in the household sharing what they are thankful for around the table.

Meals that families make can vary across all cultures. People can make dishes from their culture or others. 

Cultures and traditions vary from household to household. Some New York and New Jersey Thanksgiving meals include Italian dishes like manicotti, crab cakes in Maryland, and some deep fried turkey in Texas.

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