By: Asha Tompkins, Community Editor

Everyone has a tradition. Perhaps it’s smearing cake on someone’s face for their birthday, or hosting a cookout on memorial day, or listening to a specific music playlist while writing an essay. In honor of these unique events, The Free Press sought out students at random to share some of their own traditions during this holiday season.

Ezra Briggs said that he travels home to Lubec, Maine, six hours north of Portland, to gather with his family and take part in cooking a turkey inside a trash can.

Asha Tompkins / Community Editor

“Don’t worry, it’s clean,” said Briggs. “One Thanksgiving, there was a huge snow storm. The power was out and we couldn’t cook anything, except for what we could cook on a wood stove. You can’t cook a turkey on a wood stove, so we figured out how to cook a turkey in a trash can.”

The method is simple, he said, place the turkey on a stick, cover it with a trash can, place coals around it and let it cook.

“It’s always exciting, like ‘oh who’s gonna be in charge of the turkey this year?’ It’s cool and really easy and the best turkey I’ve ever eaten before,” Briggs said.

His family also has a tradition of playing the “dictionary game.” It entails one player picking unfamiliar word from a dictionary, while the other players write down what they think the definition is. The “fake” definitions are collected by the word-selector and read aloud, then players have to vote on what they think is the real definition.

“I like Thanksgiving because of the traditions that my family has,” Briggs said.

Adam Lehane said that he starts off his Thanksgiving when his grandparents come to cook the turkey dinner.

Asha Tompkins / Community Editor

“Most of the preparation is done by my grandparents,” said Lehane. “Obviously preparing the food is done ahead of time and then kept in the fridge until it’s time to bring upstairs and put into the oven.”

He said that his family usually watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while the food’s cooking. Once it’s ready, they eat and then have dessert afterward.

“After that my grandparents go back downstairs–they live with us–and we leave to my cousin’s house to watch the football game, eat more food and just hang out,” Lehane said.

Megan Bennett, has two meals on Thanksgiving that take place at her aunt’s house in Portland.

Asha Tompkins / Community Editor

“My family’s Italian so we normally start out eating Italian food first and then we’ll eat normal food,” said Bennett. “My uncle and aunt will make pasta and meatballs, typical Italian stuff and then we’ll eat normal Thanksgiving dinner after.”

Bennett said her family watches any sports game that is on TV and then eats Italian desserts to close out the afternoon.

The last student, Connor Currey, said that he celebrates a simple Thanksgiving and prepares for the holidays by buying gifts for his family and girlfriend.

“I wake up, have a normal breakfast and then around 6 p.m. my mom will usually make some fancy dessert, like pudding or something like that,” Currey said.

Traditions are customs that are passed down from generation to generation and regardless of whether or not a person has noteable customs to pass down, they can always be created. Celebrating with a turkey or without one, the purpose of Thanksgiving is already in the name.


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