The Simpsonian

5 traditions to look forward to on Thanksgiving

by Noah Sacco, Staff Writer

Graphics by Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian

On the fourth Thursday of November, families congregate at the dinner table to reflect on the blessings in their lives.

It’s a day when people can set aside their political opinions and acknowledge the blessings they receive every day. Along with the gravy boats and cornucopias, Thanksgiving is a time for traditions as well. Some exercise traditions for enjoyment while others have them as ways to get through the day without having their crazy uncle recite their latest Facebook post.

Here are five traditions to make Thanksgiving memorable for some and bearable for others:

1. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Reaching its 94th year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade continues to serve as a Thanksgiving staple. Not only do we get to see enormous inflatables of our beloved cartoon characters, but parade floats, marching bands, and music artists have joined the lineup. Even performances from Broadway musicals have graced our television screens. It may seem a bit commercial, but the parade is a fun, entertaining way to help you pass the time while the stuffing bakes and the turkey is basted. Let’s just hope Ashley Tisdale doesn’t butcher another lip-synced song.

2. Helping Others

According to Feeding America, one in eight people experience hunger in the United States. That translates to nearly 40 million people, and the numbers keep rising. Thanksgiving time is a wonderful opportunity for families to give back to the community and to those who are not as fortunate. If you feel so inclined, sign up to take part in food drives held by local food banks or deliver Salvation Army meals. I can tell you from experience, the look on their faces when you arrive with a hot meal is truly heartwarming.

3. The Wishbone

I don’t mean to be superstitious, but I have always made sure to include the wishbone as part of my Thanksgiving ritual. After conquering the banquet of food that laid before you an hour ago, the wishbone can be a fun competition between your brother, uncle or whoever is on the other end of the bone.

4. Turkey Bowl or NFL


After the Thanksgiving feast, people like to work off the four pounds of food they just devoured. For many, the Turkey Bowl (backyard football) mood comes into effect. There’s almost nothing better than throwing the football around with your family and friends on a crisp November day with a belly full of turkey and cranberry sauce. If that extra piece of pumpkin pie knocked you out however, kick back and relax with the annual NFL Thanksgiving matchups. Loosening your belt buckle at least one notch is required.

5. Black Friday Shopping

WARNING: THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO BRUISE EASILY.

I see this day as a realistic version of The Purge. On no other day will you see parents and their children camping outside of department stores for hours on end. Once those doors open, it’s like a war zone—sheer pandemonium like you’ve never seen before. Yet, the low prices are worth fighting for. You may stumble out of Best Buy with a few broken bones, but that virtual reality set for $20 under your arm will tell you it was totally worth it.

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