Sharing Thanksgiving traditions

a Thanksgiving dinner

By Zachary Nelson
Thanksgiving is a holiday we all share, but it is also one that everyone celebrates in their own way. To see what plans are taking shape with members of the UW Bothell community, we checked in with a few people about their plans for the upcoming break.

Audrey Tinnin, a student interested in studying community psychology, uses the break to return home to Washington’s Tri-Cities. “It is the biggest get together our family has all year,” she said. “My grandparents come into town and so do my aunts and uncles.”

Her family always celebrates Thanksgiving the same way — something Tinnin loves about this holiday. On Thanksgiving Day, she said, “we eat a family classic Watergate Salad made out of marshmallows and Jell-O.” But she is particularly proud of how her family spends the next day together.

A Thanksgiving table“We don’t shop at big stores on Black Friday, and we don’t support corporate stuff on Thanksgiving,” she said. “Instead we go to small businesses in Walla Walla and shop as a family. While in Walla Walla, we also get our Christmas tree every year as part of our tradition.”

Cody Cowan, a student interested in interactive media design, is spending Thanksgiving with his roommates he met at UW Bothell. “I live with my best friends, and they are like family to me,” he said. “We are making a turkey together and a sweet potato bake with walnuts. My mom taught me how to make the sweet potato bake, and now I am going to show my roommates how to make it so we can have our own tradition.”

Laura Mansfield, director of digital communications at UW Bothell, says she grew up celebrating “a big, loud Polish Thanksgiving” with her large family in Detroit. “Every year we would cheer for the Detroit Lions football team and eat kielbasa and Polish stuffed cabbage, “ she said.

Now, Mansfield spends her Thanksgiving with a group of friends she considers family. “My partner and I go to Winthrop to visit friends with a big house out there. I’m hoping for snow so we can go snowshoeing. I’m also looking forward to watching UW beat WSU on Saturday during the Apple Cup,” she said.

This year, students on campus were also invited to start the holiday a few days early at an event called “The Culture and History of Thanksgiving” on Monday in the ARC.  Hosted by the UW Bothell International Club, the free feast of  turkey and mashed potatoes was an opportunity to explain why these foods are part of the the holiday tradition in the United States.