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Editor’s note: The following survey results were put together by Cassandra Sepp.
As the holidays approach, students and staff reflected on their Thanksgiving traditions and what they were thankful for this season. Families made homemade apple pies, whereas others made traditional Panamanian dishes. Some people spent the whole day watching football and some watched the different Thanksgiving episodes of “Friends.” Many families celebrated traditions that were unique to them. This year we conducted survey questions asking students and staff what traditions they celebrated.
Here are some of their responses:

“My family makes a paper turkey and on every feather writes something we are thankful for. Our friends and family add to the turkey as well!”

“My husband and I deliver Thanksgiving meals to those who can’t attend the La Crosse Community dinner. We also have a standing invitation to anyone who doesn’t have someone to celebrate and eat with to share in our Thanksgiving feast. No matter how many attend, everyone leaves with a full belly!”

“The day of my family usually goes to mass and when we get home Mom makes the dinner. We eat in the late afternoon, and then we usually play games before enjoying homemade cheesecake. But the real tradition I think of when I think of Thanksgiving takes up the whole break– we make homemade chocolates of all kinds (wintergreen, peppermint, almond, maple, peanut butter, dipped cherries– just to name a few) to give as presents for friends, teachers, and coworkers as a sort of “thank you” for being part of our lives and everything they do for us.”

“My family and I say a special thanksgiving prayer before our meal together.”

“My family has a Scandinavian heritage, so we always make lefse for Thanksgiving. It’s basically a potato pancake that we put butter and sugar on.”

“We have a moment of silence for those who have died and cannot be with us on the day, but we are thankful that they were in our lives for a time.”

“Our one unique Thanksgiving tradition is to invite international students to join us at the table. Last count, we have had guests from over 35 countries.”

What Saint Mary’s Students & Staff are most thankful for this year: