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What Are Some Thanksgiving Traditions?

When the leaves start to change colors, the air gets a little colder, and Daylight Savings turns the days shorter, it means something beautiful is approaching. Of course, we’re talking about Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is such an amazing time of year for family, friends, and those in general who have something to be thankful for. And while some years can be harder than others, there is always something to be thankful for!

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays celebrated in the United States and is where many of us come together to cook a fabulous meal and enjoy the company of our loved ones. However, every family has a different way of celebrating Thanksgiving in their unique way. Here are a few Thanksgiving traditions to implement at this year's gathering!

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual parade in New York City presented by Macy’s. It has become one of America’s biggest Thanksgiving traditions, and rain or shine, that parade will be on every news channel come Thanksgiving day. Equivalent to the New Years' ball drop in New York, thousands of people line the streets of Manhattan to get a glimpse of the giant balloons and floats. But if you aren’t in Manhattan when the time comes around, don’t worry! You can just turn it on in your living room on Thanksgiving morning and watch while you prepare the epic feast!

Watch American Football

Another compelling thing to watch on Thanksgiving, aside from the parade, is a football game. Given that football is America’s favorite pastime, it’s no shock that once the Thanksgiving meal is served, families find themselves watching their favorite match-up in the NFL. You can even take it a step further and play a game of football with friends and family. You know, to burn off all those calories you just ate!

Plan a Photoshoot

You may not always get an opportunity to snap a family photo as often as you would like. Capitalize on the time of year when the whole family comes together and take a family photo. A picture says a thousand words, and you will never regret capturing the memories of you and your family and friends all together for the holidays. You can keep it simple with a basic shot of everyone, or you can hire a photographer to stage the pictures as you like. It’s up to you!

Break the Wishbone of Turkey

This is more scarce now than it used to be, but it’s still a real thing! This originally started in Italy, where people would break a bird's wishbone for good luck after cooking. After carving the turkey, there is a Y-shaped bone that carries luck (or so they say). Two people take each end of the Y and pull until it breaks. Whoever ends up with the bigger side is said to have their wishes come true and good luck for the following year.

Have a Thanksgiving Meal

Of course, there would be no Thanksgiving without the ultimate tradition in itself; eating a big Thanksgiving feast. The must-eats include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, some sort of casserole, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

And in the spirit of being thankful, at the dinner table before eating, go around and let everyone say what they are thankful for. Thanksgiving is about joy, merriment, and gratitude, and there’s no better way than to celebrate with the people you love.

Source: EF Academy (2022) Top 10 Thanksgiving Traditions

Source: Madison Alcedo & Rebekah Lowin (2022) 30 Fun Thanksgiving Traditions to Try with Family This Year

Source: Meg Donohue & Lauren Hubbard (2022) 39 Best Thanksgiving Traditions Ideas for a Stress-Free, Gratitude-Packed Holiday

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