10 Traditions Thanksgiving
BY ADAM BAILEY
Thanksgiving offers a great opportunity to pass traditions onto your family that can make them understand why this holiday is not only uniquely American — but uniquely important as well. Here are a few traditions that you can pass along during the Thanksgiving break. If you don’t like any of these, you can come up with a few of your own!
1. WATCH THE MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade tradition actually began in 1924, and has grown into an annual event of balloons, bands, and floats, enjoyed by more than 46 million people each year in person and on TV. Watch with family or friends to get your day started.
2. TURKEY AND ALL ITS TRIMMINGS
Turkeys have been a part of Thanksgiving dating back centuries. According to the National Turkey Federation, 95 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Of course there are regional twists that offer variations on the traditional roasted bird—coffee rubbed turkey in Hawaii, salt encrusted turkey in New England, and deep fried turkey in the South. Whether you go with the flow or start a tradition of your own— that decision is completely up to you.
3. MAKE A WISH
Known as a “lucky break,” the tradition of tugging on either end of a fowl’s bone to win the larger piece and its accompanying “wish” dates back to the Etruscans of 322 B.C.
4. RAKE A PILE OF LEAVES. JUMP IN!
What better way to trick your entire family into doing a loathsome chore? Challenge them to how big of a pile of leaves they can muster in the front yard—and then dive into it. When you’re done, your yard won’t be any worse than when you started.
5. RUN IN A THANKSGIVING DAY RACE (OR TURKEY TROT)
It’s great exercise, you don’t have to feel as guilty about all the turkey you’ll eat later that day, and it’s for a good cause (the proceeds usually go to a local charity).
6. WATCH THE LIONS, COWBOYS, AND VIKINGS—OH MY!
The first lesson of Thanksgiving should be to give thanks. The second should be to watch any assortment of professional or college football games. True, the Minnesota Vikings don’t always play on Thanksgiving Day. But they do this year (as they play host to the New England Patriots).
7. PLAY A FAMILY FOOTBALL GAME
For families that have a large gathering at Thanksgiving, a game of football is a great way to work up an appetite for turkey-and-dressing later that day.
8. DELIVER TO A FAMILY IN NEED
Some people choose to express their gratitude by giving back to the community. Adopt a less-fortunate family in your area, buy them a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, and deliver it to their home.
9. GET IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, so why not get in the Christmas spirit, too? You can start listening to Christmas music and watch Miracle on 34th Street (the original, of course), as you enjoy leftovers from the day’s feast.
10. GIVE THANKS
This is what Thanksgiving is all about — giving thanks. So before you eat your thanksgiving meal, whether through prayer, saying grace, or a supplication … no matter what it is, ask everyone what they are thankful for. You may be surprised what flows out once that tap has been turned on.