What Are Your Thanksgiving Traditions?

From different terms to different ways of celebrating, people have different ways of giving thanks.

Thanksgiving traditions vary by region and by family.

I grew up spending my Thanksgiving with family in one part of the Philadelphia area or another: Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Haverford, Havertown, Wayne, Paoli or Media.

To my family, Thanksgiving was about being together. The Thanksgiving gatherings started out a little bit like a cocktail party, but it was about connecting and catching up with family members who we didn’t see frequently.

My family didn’t turn on the TV and watch the football game. That just wasn’t part of our tradition.

Now, I’m married and frequently spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws, where the TV is frequently on and they call stuffing “dressing.” The food on the table is a lot more starch-based than I’m used to, but those are their traditions.

So what are your traditions?

  • Is your family into watching football over Thanksgiving?
  • Are you a trend-setting family that’s tried frying your turkey and is now trying turducken?
  • Do you have certain dishes that are staples of your Thanksgiving meal?
Leslie Truluck November 23, 2011 at 04:03 PM
My grandmother lives in a retirement home where there's a great buffet. So my family gathers there and nobody has to cook.
Lauren Avellino Turton November 23, 2011 at 06:49 PM
I grew up in a traditional Italian family. We always spent the holidays with a large group and enjoyed a lot of delicious food. Thanksgiving was one of the best menus. My Mom made escarole soup, tons of escarole soup with the little meatballs, which we couldn't get enough of. I enjoy the turkey, but her stuffing recipe is by far the greatest. It too takes on an Italian twist. Basically, the garlic and mozzerella cheese make the dish. I will be making this stuffing for the third time this year. While I try to follow her recipe as closely as I can, and it comes out pretty good, it's never as good as Mom's, is it? There's certainly something to be said about Mom's TLC in her cooking. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and enjoy your family's traditions, and cherish the memories.


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