What’s Your Tradition?

Tyler Langley ’18 and her family pose with their homemade turkey on Thanksgiving. (Photo provided by the Langley family)

By: Ashwin Mills ’18

Every fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, the holiday that cultivates togetherness and appreciation for what we have.

Still, not all Thanksgiving celebrations are the same, with some Notre Dame students holding certain unconventional or different traditions unique to their families.

Every Thanksgiving, Tyler Langley ‘18, has a tradition in her family where they make a dessert known as a “Carrot Ring.”

“Essentially, it’s a carrot bundt cake,” said Langley. “This whole thing started off because it’s the only dessert my brother would eat as a kid. He hated pie and everything chocolate, so my grandma made the carrot ring. It is a hassle to make all the time, so it became a Thanksgiving tradition.”

Jillian Minor, ’18, is another Notre Dame student who has a unique Thanksgiving tradition. “My family’s tradition is to always play a special game during the holidays. Last year during Thanksgiving for example, we had a race on who could stuff a turkey the fastest,” Minor said. “This tradition got started by my grandparents who always played games on holidays with my parents when they were younger.”

Some families are new to the Thanksgiving scene, having emigrated to America from across the globe. This is the case for Miara Chua ’18, whose parents came to the United States from the Philippines.

“I’m first generation and my family didn’t start celebrating Thanksgiving until they moved here less than 20 years ago. So basically, we just copy everyone else in America,” said Chua.

Miara Chua ’18 and her family stand outside their home for a photo during their last Thanksgiving celebration. (Photo by provided by the Chua family)

However, this doesn’t mean that their heritage isn’t reflected in their meal:

“We all get together at one relative’s house and everyone brings different kinds of food, like a potluck. Some family members bring home cooked meals, or we also buy takeout from certain restaurants like Boston Market. Because my family is Filipino, we mix regular Thanksgiving food with traditional foods like Pinakbet (a kind of stew) or Lumpia (the equivalent of spring rolls).”

Thanksgiving can be celebrated in different ways, but the idea of family and togetherness are paramount to this American holiday.


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