Students say tradition forms the basis of the Thanksgiving season
Written by
Lauren Goodwin
Pumpkin Pie
Image By
Associated Press

Students at BYU–Hawaii shared stories and traditions to come together during the holiday season. Students play games with family, make dinner and even set up Christmas decorations to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. 


Miracle Pie

According to Kayla McGuinness, a junior majoring in marine biology from Texas, Thanksgiving is all about good food, but especially delicious pie. McGuinness clarified that not any chocolate pie will do. She said her grandmother’s chocolate pie is the best because “she has the best secret recipe.”

She said the pie is so important that tragedy struck her family when they forgot the recipe. “After my grandmother died, my mom couldn’t find the recipe anywhere and couldn't remember it.”

She said family members were sad no one knew how to make it anymore. McGuinness said, “[Thanksgiving] wasn’t the same without the best pie in the world.”

McGuinness said her mom had a dream one night where she was being taught by her grandmother how to make the chocolate pie. When her mother awoke the next day, she was able to make the pie exactly like her grandmother.

Now, McGuinness said her family makes it every year. “Everyone has a copy of the recipe, so it’ll never get lost again.”


Away for Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day, Ana Toronto, a sophomore from Utah majoring in social work, said, “My family keeps it low key and would just spend time together.”

She explained her most memorable Thanksgiving was when it snowed one year and the whole family played football outside, even though it was freezing.

Even though she does not get to go home during the holidays because she’s at school, Toronto said, “I miss spending that time with my family, but every year they Facetime me and I get to talk to them and that cures the homesick feeling I get around the holidays.” 


Turkey Bowl

Instead of playing football on Thanksgiving, Micah Taotafa, a sophomore from California majoring in biology, said, “We watch the Turkey Bowl and bet on who’s going to win. Sometimes we go on a walk or hike as a family.”

Taotafa said the holiday is exciting to spend time and catch up with friends and family. He said his most memorable Thanksgiving “was the first Thanksgiving in our new house. My father deep fried the entire turkey and it ended up being really dry.” 

Despite the food not going as planned, Taotafa said, “Even though we give [my dad] a hard time about it, we all know that it’s most important to spend time together, even if the food is bad.” 


Decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day


Even though Christmas is a month away, Spencer Mordy, a junior majoring in biology from California, said his family cannot wait for the Christmas season. Mordy said, “We always set up Christmas decorations in the morning and have Thanksgiving dinner and then get right back to setting up decorations.”

Mordy said for 30 years his family entered into his city’s light competition. According to him, they have been undefeated for as long as he can remember. He said, “I love pulling out all the wooden Disney figurines and the thousands of lights. But I especially love doing it with my family and spending time with them.” 

During this time of year up until Christmas, Mordy said, “We don’t mess around, it takes two days to set up what we have, and sometimes my mom will get more.” Despite competing in a competition, Mordy said that it’s more about spending time with the family than winning the competition.

Date Published
November 27, 2019
Last Edited
November 27, 2019