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Seton Hall students share their favorite Thanksgiving traditions

With Thanksgiving approaching, students shared their favorite holiday traditions they look forward to each year. 

Rachel Walters, a senior marketing and IT management double major, said she kicks off her holiday season with the arrival of Santa on 34th Street. She added that her and her family also enjoy watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, with Walters' favorites being the Pillsbury Doughboy and Spongebob.

Kara Eckert, a junior visual and sound media and English double major, also said she enjoys the Macy’s parade with her family, but her and her family have since added watching the Westminster Dog Show to their Thanksgiving traditions.

“We leave on the dog show and me and my dad watch it together,” Eckert said. “My dad likes to watch it and make comments about my dogs being best in show even though my dogs aren’t show dogs.”

Jason Saway, a chemistry doctoral candidate, said that he and his family enjoy going to church during the week of Thanksgiving to celebrate the holiday and their religion.

“Something that’s stuck with me since childhood is getting bread at church,” Saway said. “We go to church service on Thanksgiving and they give out bread to everyone. Eating it brings my family together.”

Some students have more creative and unconventional Thanksgiving traditions.

Skylar Yeaman, a junior political science major, said her family celebrates Thanksgiving by having a craft night. Yeaman said they make turkeys out of Oreos, candy and frosting. She said it is messy, but everyone has fun with it.

Vivian Haas, a senior accounting major, said her family has a competitive tradition of a pinochle tournament each year.

“Usually, the team that wins are the first people who can get a cup of soup,” Haas said. “We eat a huge Thanksgiving meal at 2 p.m., eat dessert around 5 p.m., then play and have the turkey soup at 9 p.m.”

With food being such a heavy focus during this holiday, some Seton Hall students simply look forward to the tradition of cooking a big meal and having staple holiday foods at the table.

Maria Melendez, a sophomore communications major, said mashing potatoes with her mom is the thing she loves best.

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Lorenzo Stampone, a senior biochemistry major, said he makes homemade pasta with his mom every year to make it “an Italian Thanksgiving.”

Morgan Carroll, a junior elementary education and speech pathology dual major, said she is “obsessed” with her mom’s cornbread stuffing. Carroll said no matter who is hosting the dinner, her mom will make it for the party, and she looks forward to eating the leftovers.

Kaylee Landry, a junior biology major, said decorating cherry pie while snacking on the filling is her favorite tradition. Similarly, Nicholas Defilippo, a senior chemistry major, said he looks forward to eating cherry and apple pie at his grandmother’s every year.

The central role grandmothers play in holiday traditions cannot be discounted as many students said they have fond memories of making and enjoying a family recipe with their grandmothers.

Mel Primorac, a senior political science major, said his grandmother created the tradition of making and eating cranberry sherbet on Thanksgiving.

“My grandma Melinda taught my mom how to make the cranberry sherbet,” Primorac said. “Each year, she makes the cranberry sherbet, and we eat it before dinner as a palette cleanser. Unfortunately, my grandma Melinda passed away before I was born. I am named for her, and the cranberry sherbet is a sweet reminder of my grandma and her legacy.”

Alex Milanowski, sophomore marketing major, said she loves her grandma’s cheesy brussels sprout bake. Milanowski said she tries a new recipe every year to share with her family, but her grandma’s bake remains her favorite.

Devon Schermerhorn, a junior elementary and special education and speech pathology dual major, said she has a Thanksgiving tradition that encapsulates what the holiday is all about: appreciating everyone.

“One of the things that I love that we do is to make food for everyone,” Schermerhorn said. “We have different regular, gluten free, and lactose free desserts, so everyone can have basically everything they like. I love that we take the time to make sure everyone can be happy with what is on their plate. It’s the one time a year we don’t say, ‘Suck it up and eat something.’”

Kathryn McCoy can be reached at


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