1. The Big Turkey Dinner
Eating turkey for Thanksgiving is a long-standing tradition, although the main course at the very first thanksgiving meal was most likely venison, not turkey. According to the National Turkey Federation, 95% of all Americans eat turkey at for their Thanksgiving meal. Add the rest of the trimmings, like marshmallow-coated yams, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce … and you have a traditional thanksgiving dinner.
2. Macy’s Day Parade
The original parade sponsored by Macy’s department store, was not on Thanksgiving day, but on Christmas Day in 1924. Famous for their large balloon characters, in 1927 the first balloon float, Felix the Cat, appeared on the parade route. And since 1932 the parade has been broadcast on either radio or television every year. With over 90 years of history, the Macy’s parade is deeply engrained into the Thanksgiving day tradition.
3. Football games
The first Thanksgiving Day football game took place in in Philadelphia in 1869 when football itself was brand new. Thanksgiving itself was still a newly proclaimed national holiday (established by Abraham Lincoln in 1863), so football and Thanksgiving share a very close history in American tradition. Today if you are watching the NFL, you will always see the Lions and the Cowboys host games on their home turf. And if you are watching out your window, you will likely see good football competition happening in the neighbor’s yard.
4. Pies, pies and more pies
The most common pie for Thanksgiving is the pumpkin pie. These are commonplace for Thanksgiving meals because pumpkins are harvested during the month before Thanksgiving. Pumpkins are also native to America, so they have been a regular part of meals on this continent since long before colonial times. Many more pies have historical roots for Thanksgiving, including pecan pies, mincemeat pies, apple pies and sweet potato pies.
5. The Presidential Turkey Pardon
The custom of presenting a turkey to the President of the United States as a Thanksgiving gift dates back to the 1940’s, with most of the birds becoming part of the presidential Thanksgiving meal. Since 1989, during George H.W. Bush’s first Thanksgiving as president, it has become an annual tradition for the president to “pardon” the turkey, and a less conspicuous turkey gets to be the main course instead.
6. The “wishbone”
During the process of carving and serving the turkey, eventually you locate that special bone that everyone wants to get their hands on. In turkey anatomy, the “wishbone” works like a spring that connects the turkey’s
two collarbones, and helps hold everything together, especially when the bird is flying. But the “wishbone” gets its name because you can make a wish as you and another person pull on the two sides of it. Whoever gets the larger piece … will get their wish.
7. After dinner nap
After a big meal, it doesn’t take long until everyone starts feeling a little sleepy. There’s something in that turkey that just makes the eyelids heavy. And since it is a day off from regular work, many people succumb to the post-thanksgiving-meal nap. At least, until uncle Delbert starts snoring real loud and wakes everyone else up.
8. Shopping (or getting ready to shop)
The Friday after Thanksgiving has become a traditional day of shopping for Christmas gifts. Some stores open early on Thanksgiving so people don’t have to wait until the next day. But whether it happens on Thursday or Friday, the Thanksgiving weekend often marks the beginning of shopping for Christmas gifts.
9. Family activities
Thanksgiving holiday and family gatherings go hand-in-hand. For some families, this is the one time of the year that everyone gets together, so the fun and games at these get-togethers become part of the tradition. Playing certain board games, working on a puzzle together, or the previously-mentioned football game in the yard are all examples of fun family activities that leave good memories for years to come.
Giving thanks is truly at the heart of the Thanksgiving holiday. Remembering the blessings of your life, appreciating the people in your life, and giving thanks to God as the provider of all good things … is the central tradition of Thanksgiving. How does your family share your thanksgiving together.
No matter what kind of plans you have this year for Thanksgiving, here’s a special “Happy Thanksgiving” from all your friends at Gregg Farm Services!