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Foods of the holidays

Art by Ket Gill

As the months roll by, the holiday season is getting progressively closer. With this comes many things, the most important of which is food. The most iconic parts of some holidays are food. Turkey and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas, and much more; the foods are always what I look forward to the most. Yet frequently, traditional foods are only sometimes what is eaten on these holidays; people and their families have different traditions and stray away from stereotypical holiday foods.

Thanksgiving is often seen as the most prominent holiday of November; a day to celebrate what good things happened the previous year, though I see it most prominently as a day to enjoy food and time with family. While turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing are commonly seen as “Thanksgiving foods,” many people prefer to eat other things on the November holiday. Sebastian Ashcraft for example, a high school student at ERHS, often eats Filipino food with his family, such as adobo, pancit (a traditional Filipino noodle dish), crispy pata (deep fried pig), lumpia (a type of egg roll), and more, none of which are commonly thought of as holiday or Thanksgiving foods.

While overshadowed by other activities, Christmas is another holiday that often involves consuming a reasonable amount of food. As such, different families enjoy different traditions and foods, anywhere from steak, to tamales. My family and I are no different, most commonly enjoying a sushi bake (a casserole-like pan of sushi), along with a variety of salads, vegetables, and fruits on the twenty-fifth of December. Other students such as Vivienne Freeman and Ivy Klein appreciate dishes such as shrimp, along with steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, and gravy among other foodstuffs.

Image by Victoria Shes via Unsplash

Of course, there are other holidays during the late fall and winter seasons as well, a prime example of this being Hanukkah. Though this isn’t as widely spread as holidays such as Christmas, it is still a tradition that countless people celebrate. As with many holidays, food is an important part of the celebration. From latkes (potato pancakes) to sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts) and brisket, there are all sorts of traditional delicacies eaten during Hanukkah. Another holiday commonly celebrated around the world is New Year’s. Many different countries celebrate this holiday in their ways, and with their foods. Ranging from tamales in Mexico, and soba in Japan, each household and culture has its way of celebrating this holiday. From crab and lobster to barbecues, different people have their own family traditions for many holidays.

Overall, almost nothing is static. Even if everyone besides you does the traditional thing, you aren’t required to do the same thing. This applies to holidays as well. If you and your family don’t prefer the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes of Thanksgiving over something else, you can do what you want. Holidays are celebrations and they are something that shouldn’t be followed exactly.

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