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Thanksgiving Traditions

Written by: Editorial Staff

November 15, 2012
Filed Under Holidays 


Thanksgiving traditionsContributed by Info Guru Oliver VanDervoort

Every family or group of friends have their own little practices and traditions that they go through during holidays and special get togethers.

From one group of people to another, those little details might change a bit but there are a couple that stay surprisingly consistent no matter who is doing them. Part of the reason for this is because those traditions and events are passed down from one generation to the next and part of the reason is because they are done on a larger scale. Here are the top 10 Thanksgiving traditions that most Americans practice when the Holiday rolls around.

10. The Turkey Trot

The Turkey Trot

For the most part, people think of Thanksgiving as a time of year when you sit around and gain a little weight. One way to counter that is to run in a local Turkey Trot. There is also a nationally run race, but quite a few communities are coming up with these on their own. These are usually just races that go a couple of kilometers and allow for a little fun activity on a day known for eating.

9. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie is more than an institution when it comes to the fall holidays. Eating pumpkin pie, or sometimes pecan pie is one of those Thanksgiving traditions that seem older than anyone can remember.

8. Turkey Presidential Pardons

Turkey Presidential Pardons

This is more of a fun tradition than anything remotely serious. For years the President has picked one turkey that gets to avoid the chef’s knife. No one is really sure when this tradition started, but it became a regular public affair sometime during the Nixon Administration.

7. Watch Football

Watch Football

Despite being a Thursday, Thanksgiving has long been a time when we could watch the Detroit Lions play during the day and the Dallas Cowboys playing soon after. Recently the NFL has added a third game to the Turkey Day lineup.

6. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Not everyone wants to watch sports, but there are few people who don’t love a good parade. Macy’s puts on the best parade of the year on Thanksgiving and tens of millions tune in to watch as their dinner is cooking.

5. Travel


The Thanksgiving holiday is often a time when people are doing a ton of traveling. Most people are using the time to go see friends and family across the country, though others use the days off as a time to take a vacation. Either way, a ton of traveling is done.

4. Charity


Quite a few people feel that If you have an awful lot to give thanks for, you should help those who don’t have as much. Serving Thanksgiving dinner at a local soup kitchen or some other sort of charity is something some people consider a worthy Thanksgiving tradition.

3. Getting Ready for Black Friday

Getting Ready for Black Friday

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and is generally considered the kickoff day for the Holiday shopping season. Some people map out their shopping goals or strategies and even head out to the stores to get in line right after their Thanksgiving dinner.

2. Family Get Togethers

Family Get Togethers

Not surprisingly, this is right near the top of the list of Thanksgiving traditions. People go out of their way to spend time with their families on this day. The beginning of the Holiday season means quite a few family reunions, sometimes for the only time that year.

1. Eating Turkey

Eating Turkey

There may not be any more a beloved Holiday tradition than eating turkey on Thanksgiving. There are many variations on what comes with the turkey, but that particular bird is a big part of this Holiday.


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