Family traditions throughout the community

By Nikki Schachtel, Features editor

All families stand out in their own way. Some may have smaller traditions, while others may do things to a larger extent. These traditions can include anything from how families celebrate holidays to how they cook certain meals. Even throughout the West Essex community, there are the coolest and most unique family traditions.

After doing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner every year, my family got together and decided to switch it up. Beginning in 2016, we decided to hold a Mexican Thanksgiving. We cleared our kitchen counter and filled half of it with Thanksgiving food including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more. The other half consisted of burritos, tacos, fajitas and chips and guacamole. 

“We’ve been having Thanksgiving at our house for as long as I can remember but I just felt like we should be different and create our own Thanksgiving dinner,” parent Amy Schachtel said. 

Not only did we create our own dinner but there’s a special tradition we complete every morning on Thanksgiving. My family as well as my cousins wake up at 8 a.m. and participate in an 8k known as the Turkey Trot. This is definitely something that makes my family stand out. When the run is complete we meet our grandparents at a diner for a well-deserved breakfast. 

“Although I wake up and dread running, the entire family goes each year and we are always so happy we did it when we are finished,” parent Blair Schachtel said.

Moreover, when finding other families who have come up with their own traditions, Zach Gilbert discussed his Sunday morning walks with his family. Every Sunday, Zach along with the rest of his family and his dog, walk to Dunkin Donuts. 

“Although it is a small tradition we all think it’s a good way to spend our Sundays,” senior Zach Gilbert said. “Sometimes I don’t always feel like walking but I know it’s an important tradition for my family.”

The Ortman family has their own tradition as well. Every year when the Kentucky Derby rolls around Candace and her family hold a large “derby party.” They think it’s a fun event where people can get together and spend the day with one another. 

Finally, junior Kylie O’Connor has a special April Fools tradition. Each year Kylie’s family as well as her cousins and grandparents all come up with large and elaborate pranks to play on one another. While, each year they know it’s a joke they find it to be a fun family tradition. 

All families have different, yet exciting traditions. Whether it’s something big or small it’s important that people find their own special way to enjoy things in life. From holidays to runs to April Fools the traditions are endless.