Unusual Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving: a holiday we associate with family bonding, delicious foods, and a slew of traditions passed down from generations before us. When my mind wanders to Thanksgiving days past, I immediately remember my grandmother’s homemade stuffing, my father and brother watching endless football on the couch, and my mother dashing from one side of the house to the next, trying to create the perfect Thanksgiving feast. It’s funny though, how Thanksgiving traditions can vary from one house to the next. I’m sure just about every person you talk to is planning on having a turkey and pumpkin pie somewhere on their dinner table, but it’s the unusual traditions that catch your attention.

Take my family for instance. It was the 2006 Thanksgiving feast that will live in infamy in the Schultz household. Thirty minutes into our delicious Thanksgiving feast, family members began to slowly walk away from the table one by one, all headed to various locations around the house. While my mom claims to this day that it had to of been a vicious stomach virus, I am still convinced that the culprit behind breaking up our night of family bonding was a bad case of food poisoning and all roads lead back to the turkey. To this day, I will not touch a turkey that has been cooked in the oven, even if it’s bone dry and has been baking for hours on end. Now my mother is sure to always incorporate a different type of main dish, like a juicy steak or ham for those members of the family that are not ready to turn back to the t-word. Of course, as I begin a family of my own, I will not punish them by replacing a traditional Thanksgiving turkey with say, a delicious honey-baked ham. No, I will continue that turkey tradition that has lived on in American families for centuries, but I will always stick with just partaking in the stuffing and the casseroles, sans turkey.

READ MORE  We ain't nothin' but mammals: The body hair revolution

I’ve heard of other Thanksgiving tables that look much different than my own family’s, though. A friend from middle school used to laugh about her family spending Thanksgiving dinner over a heaping tray of Chinese food that they always order from the Asian restaurant down the street. My brother’s best friend told us that his family always orders their Thanksgiving feast from a local restaurant. I recall one Thanksgiving when my mother was eight months pregnant, so the last thing she wanted to do was spend the entire day on her feet slaving over the oven. So we just ordered our dinner from the golf club in our neighborhood, which really saved time with the clean-up. Another friend’s family swaps a pumpkin pie for a pumpkin martini. A family down the street from where I grew up always made a bacon pie for their dessert, which I have mixed feelings about – but hey, that is their tradition!

The beauty of a holiday like Thanksgiving is that all traditions aside, every family is unique. Every family is entitled to spend their Thanksgiving however they choose, whether that includes classic traditions like a turkey and pumpkin pie, or odd traditions like sushi and pumpkin pie martinis. It’s the quirky traditions that go on between a family that create memories you’ll remember for the rest of your life. If you have any strange Thanksgiving traditions, please comment and share below!

READ MORE  #30DaysOfThanks: My Modern Family