Harper Johnson

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to come together, express gratitude, and enjoy a festive meal. Here are some common Thanksgiving traditions that people often partake in:

  • Feast: The centerpiece of Thanksgiving is a large, hearty meal that typically includes a roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, vegetables, and various side dishes. Pumpkin pie and other desserts are often enjoyed as well.
  • Turkey Pardon: In the United States, it has become a tradition for the President to pardon a live turkey, sparing it from being part of the Thanksgiving meal. This lighthearted gesture is followed by the presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President.
  • Family Gathering: Many people travel to spend Thanksgiving with family members. It’s a time to reconnect, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Thanksgiving Parade: Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is a longstanding tradition for many families. The parade features floats, giant balloons, marching bands, and performances.
  • Gratitude: Before the meal, it’s common for everyone to go around the table and share something they are thankful for. This is a moment of reflection and appreciation.
  • Volunteer Work: Some families and individuals choose to spend part of their Thanksgiving volunteering at soup kitchens, shelters, or other community service activities to help those in need.
  • Football: Watching football games, whether at home or in person, is a cherished tradition for many on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Black Friday Shopping: The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, has become synonymous with shopping deals and discounts, prompting some people to participate in early-morning or late-night shopping trips.
  • Cooking and Baking: Preparing traditional family recipes and sharing the responsibility of cooking and baking with loved ones is a cherished Thanksgiving tradition.
  • Friendsgiving: In addition to celebrating with family, some individuals also host “Friendsgiving” gatherings with their close friends. These gatherings often involve a potluck-style meal.
  • Decorations: Decorating the house with autumn-themed decor, such as pumpkins, leaves, and candles, adds to the festive atmosphere.
  • Outdoor Activities: Depending on the weather, some families might engage in outdoor activities like hikes, nature walks, or touch football games.
  • Thanksgiving Crafts: Children and adults alike might participate in Thanksgiving-themed crafts and activities, creating place cards, centerpieces, or other decorations.
  • Watching Movies: After the meal, some families enjoy watching movies together, either classic Thanksgiving-themed films or other family favorites.
  • Leftovers: After the feast, leftovers are often enjoyed for days. Some people even look forward to the creative meals they can make from the leftovers.

These traditions vary from family to family and region to region, but they all contribute to the warm and festive spirit of Thanksgiving.