Favorite Family Traditions from Childhood and Today!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, largely because it doesn’t involve shopping or gifting, just eating and drinking. Buying holiday gifts for everyone in the family: Stressful. Planning a meal for the family: Fun!

(I think holidays should be fun, you know?)

My family doesn’t have any hard-and-fast Thanksgiving traditions; in fact, over the last decade, a variety of things have caused our Thanksgiving celebration to shift and change dramatically. My children are big enough now to sit at the big table with us; our table is also smaller, as we’ve lost some older family members. But the meal itself still remains the same, and it’s still cooked at home. And someone always makes oyster casserole for my husband.

While traditions may vary from family to family, food is what brings us all together. In a survey of 1,019 consumers, Butterball found that while a Baby Boomer (adult age 45-65) is most likely to host the meal and cook the turkey, other family members of all ages pitch in with side dishes. And everyone agrees that homemade is better than store bought. Of course.

Not surprisingly, women still do most of the prep work for the Thanksgiving dinner, with more than half managing the turkey. Women also take charge of cleaning and stuffing the turkey. The payoff? 54% of men surveyed said they do the carving. That only seems fair.

Not surprisingly, the men will be napping after the meal. Or at least 60% of them will. That sounds right for my house.

This year, my family’s Thanksgiving plans are up in the air. For the past decade, we’ve gone to my in-laws for dinner, but this year, I’ve offered to host. I’m not offering to make oyster casserole, though, and I’m still lobbying for a whole turkey (my husband wants to cook a turkey breast). But I’m looking forward to having my family together for the whole day, and to sitting down to a delicious meal with the people I love the most.

What Thanksgiving traditions does your family have? Are you starting a new tradition this year?


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