Florida Southern students travelled home for the holidays where they partook in special, annual traditions with their families for Thanksgiving.

Abby McHenry

Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in the same way or on the same day, and Florida Southern students are no different.

Thanksgiving is celebrated annually on the last Thursday of November, but senior Emily Wainio-Oato breaks from the norm and celebrates it on Friday instead. Wainio-Oato and her family would typically head to Disney on Thanksgiving Day because it would be empty and wait times were not long. In recent years, more people have caught on to the secret, so her family does not do it anymore.

Now, her family celebrates Thanksgiving on a day other than Thursday so it can be shared with as many friends as possible.  People are more likely to attend when they are not traditionally with their family.

“I really love it, it’s always a really good vibe having friends for Thanksgiving,” Wainio-Oato said.  “It may sound weird, but it would be odd to have Thanksgiving with only my family.”

A majority of sophomore Haley Parson’s family are vegetarians, so every year they vote on which side is going to be the “main dish.”  She enjoys this tradition because it is “weird and quirky,” and she loves being able to vote on which dish her and her family can pretend is the entree.

Freshman Courtney Currier  has nerf gun fights every year at Thanksgiving and plays football after.

“We’re a very competitive family, and with a lot of people participating it’s a lot of fun,” Currier said.

Sophomore Gabriella Licata watches a Christmas movie after Thanksgiving dinner to mark the beginning of the season. She said it helps to make the holiday season more official.

Like many others, Junior Allison O’Connor watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  She loves watching all the shows that pass through and perform including the Radio City Rockettes.

Many people watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television each year, but junior Mikey Papa goes to see it in person.  His whole family wakes up early and gets to the parade route around 7:15 a.m. One year, Papa was even on the subway back with a band, and they were playing on the back of the train.  After the parade, his family goes to see the Rockefeller Center christmas tree.

“It’s always a fun good time out together and it’s always a special time and different every year,” Papa said.

Florida Southern students go home for Christmas Break on Dec. 12, which allows for more holiday traditions to take place.


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