America’s Thanksgiving Rituals: From Turkey to Touchdowns

America's Thanksgiving Rituals From Turkey to Touchdowns

The Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated throughout North America and some wonderful traditions have become part of this November holiday.

Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November every year. It’s one of the holidays that moves dates but is always on the same day each year. Some people celebrate this holiday as the start of their Christmas season, others love it for the football, and most enjoy it as a time to be with family and eat lots of wonderful food. Let’s look at some of the top Thanksgiving traditions celebrated every year by Americans around the country.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a must

For many years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been part of this holiday. The parade takes a route through Manhattan in New York City, with thousands of people flooding the streets to watch the celebration. This parade is well known for its giant inflatable balloons that float between the skyscrapers. It’s also a wonderful parade for some high school bands to enjoy and play their tunes while marching down the parade route. This parade airs early enough to be the start of many Thanksgiving celebrations.

The Thanksgiving meal

One of the most widely celebrated Thanksgiving traditions is to eat a complete meal with foods that family and friends look forward to every year. Generally, this means a turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and some incredible desserts, including pumpkin pie. If you don’t have pumpkin pie as your Thanksgiving dessert, have you truly celebrated the holiday? Of course, you have, but this pie is recognized as the traditional pie of the holiday.

Share what you’re most thankful for

It might sound a bit corny to some, but going around the room and allow each family member to say what they are most thankful for this year is an important part of this day. Remember, this holiday is called Thanksgiving, which means we are “giving thanks” for what we’ve been given. Most of us take this time to reflect on our blessings and realize that we often have much more than we need, unlike some who must visit soup kitchens and wonder where their next meal might come from.

Run to get the day started

For some, this could be a new Thanksgiving tradition, while others have been running on Turkey Day for several years. Fundraising and running a 5K on the morning of Thanksgiving has become a popular activity for many around the country. This is a great way to prepare for the large meal awaiting runners at the end of the day. This is a great way to burn calories, raise money for those less fortunate, and get ready for the large meal that’s coming later in the day.

Many families give their time and energy

In the spirit of giving back and being thankful, many communities organize food drives and serve warm meals on Thanksgiving. Some families enjoy a Thanksgiving tradition of giving back by spending time serving food, collecting food donated by friends and neighbors, or donating food to those in need. This is an important part of the holiday and huge for those who don’t have as much as they need to survive. Giving to the poor and needy is a wonderful tradition and the true spirit of this holiday.

Friendsgiving has become a thing

Most people celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, but this leaves friends out of the mix. As much as these family celebrations are important, some would rather spend the time with friends than family. The creation of Friendsgiving gave friends a great way to spend time with both groups without feeling guilty that one or the other was being left out. A celebration with friends that takes place before the actual holiday is a great way to enjoy time with friends and family.

Football and Thanksgiving: As American as it gets

Football is the most popular sport to watch in the United States, and games played on Thanksgiving Day date back to 1876, which means this is one of the most longstanding Thanksgiving traditions of the day. Some families engage in a fun game of football, which is a great way to get people out of the kitchen while the food is being prepared, and others love to watch the three games played throughout the day. Football on Thanksgiving has become ubiquitous with the holiday.

Which of these Thanksgiving traditions does your family participate in? Will you add one or more of them to your celebration this year?

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