Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite Thanksgiving Tradition?

By Ashley Jacobs on 19 November 2013 (Updated 26 November 2013) 72 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Holly Ann, Ria, and Therese for winning this week's contest!

Thanksgiving is all about food, fun, and family! Many of us have Thanksgiving staples that we enjoy every year, be it Nana's mouth-watering cranberry sauce, outdoor games with the cousins, or dinner parties with friends.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? What new traditions would you like to establish? If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, how will you be spending November 28th this year?

Tell us about your favorite Thanksgiving tradition and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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  • Contest ends Monday, November 25th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after November 25th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
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Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is going around the table and everyone sharing what they're most thankful for.

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Olivia

Although I like having family over, (my kids love hanging out with their crazy aunt and good family friends), and making special edibles for the occasion, I love the quiet after the dinner best. When everyone has gone home. Turkey Tetrazinni on Friday, breaking the wishbone with my sweetie, turkey soup later in the week. Not having to really cook for several days.

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Trang

My favorite tradition is eating post-Thanksgiving leftovers...mmm.

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Betty

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition, after all the food, is going to the movies with family. We never really go to the theater, so it's kind of a treat.

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I love being with my family, but what makes Thanksgiving for me and my daughters is hosting an annual Thanksgiving Community Outreach Dinner for anyone from the community who wants to come. This meal is for people who are homeless, hungry, working or going to school in the community, or just looking for fellowship during the holidays. Last year we fed over 400. The highlight of the day was a homeless grandmother who struggles with substance abuse reuniting with her infant grandchild at dinner. Prior to that, she had been estranged from the entire family. I brought tears to all of our eyes and left us totally grateful!

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Watching the Lions lose. Putting up the Christmas Tree.

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mary ellen

Our family tradition is to always have a can of the cheapest jellied cranberry relish. You know the one that keeps the shape of the can and must be sliced. My mother-in-law was always cost conscientious and at one of the Thanksgivings one of her adult children was snobby (and quite annoying) about having canned food at the meal. Boy did we have a good time tormenting him. Anyhow, ever since then we made sure that the cranberry sauce was on the table and joke about it. My wonderful mother-in-law is now gone but we keep the tradition alive in her honor. (especially since she died around thanksgiving, her favorite holiday)

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Peg Mooers

dinner, of course!

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Having time to really sit down and think of all the things I have to be thankful for.

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Anissa Gooch

After our Thanksgiving feast, we have a fire in our woods behind our house and make s'mores. That night we watch Christmas Vacation.

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Christie

I actually love going shopping and planning shopping with my sister. I just love hanging out with my family. This year is something different, the first year without my Granna, so we're not having a big family get together, but just immediate family at a new place. Should be interesting!

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Meme Ledbetter

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is that we stay at home. There is no traveling during this holiday (we travel extensively throughout the year). Also, instead of baking a turkey, I bake a brisket (slow cooked and seasoned with soy sauce, mustard, and brown sugar). The menu is completed with corn grits, pumpkin bread (from our Halloween pumpkin), green beans, and a vegetable tray. We pig out and take a long nap after :)

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Ernest S.

I love the tradition of getting everyone together and taking the time to reflect on what we are thankful for. The only change I would make is to rotate the person hosting Thanksgiving every year. It's so much work and pressure on the cook!

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NJ

If I don't have to work on Thanksgiving I usually watch A Christmas Story every year. And then tear into the cheesecake before the turkey's done. Okay and after the turkey's done too LOL! Other than dinner is low key and we spend the rest of the day watching t.v.

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Emily

My favorite thing to do is watch the Macy's Day parade on TV. Seeing all the balloons has always been a highlight.

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R. Williams

Our favorite Thanksgiving tradition is preparing our Thanksgiving meal together and saying a prayer before we eat

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Jennifer P.

My family plays low betting poker while dinner cooks!

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Elena

my favorite tradition is cooking turkey and celebrating with my family

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Gina

I love splitting the wishbone and making a wish!

Donna Freedman's picture

Pumpkin pie, definitely. Generally it's the only time all year that I bake my favorite flavor. (Wonder why that is?)
Especially: Pumpkin pie for breakfast the next day.

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Revanche

We always have great stuffing on the table for Thanksgiving. I had been hoping to start hosting in our own home this year, but the circumstances changed and we'll be taking the hosting to our guests. I guess there's always next year?

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Katie

I enjoy lingering at the table talking and laughing with my family. We talk until we decide we aren't too stuffed for dessert, enjoy some pie, then talk some more.

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Guest

Everyone in the house going around and saying what they're grateful for!

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q

My family has a tradition of eating fried asparagus on Thanksgiving. I have no idea where it started, because no one else has ever heard of this, but it's the only time we ever eat it, and darnit, IT'S GOOD.

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Lisa

My absolute favorite tradition is foregoing the guilt associated with the rich, calorie laden foods for just one day. I enjoy and keep a heart full of gratitude.

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michelle

Having two Thanksgiving dinners... one with friends and one with family!

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ambrosia

Definitely feasting with friends and family on a delicious dinner!

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Jill

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade!

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Holly Ann

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is watching the Thanksgiving day parades. No matter what I am doing or where I am, this is the one thing that I have been able to do every year.

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DeeDee

The food. I am the pie baker, turkey, gravy and stuffing maker and I always make harvard beets too!

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MG

Food, family and football.

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Monique

Getting together with family and friends, catching up on each others news, and watching holiday movies together!

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Thrifty Writer

For the last fifteen years, I've enjoyed the fact that our family Thanksgivings have been a mix of traditional American fare (turkey, wild rice, green bean almondine casserole, etc.) and Indian food (butada song, dal, biryani). It's the perfect blend of who we are.

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Jennifer Marie

we have a table cloth we sign every year with what we are thankful for that year.

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Jen

Going around the table and saying what we're thankful for, no matter big or small!

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Diane

We have several traditions, the whole family together to eat, everyone saying what they're especially thankful for on that day, but the special one for our family is the "reading of the ads", which happens after dinner. We get out the huge newspaper with all the black friday ads and everyone shares the ads and makes their shopping list for the next day.

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Liisa

Honestly, we don't have many Thanksgiving traditions! We have bounced all over the place the last 10 - 15 years -- single, then married with no kids yet. I do love hosting a dinner for friends who don't have family in town sometimes, or going home with friends to their families tables, and when I'm with family I guess I love the meal (my mom always cooks an amazing dinner!) and catching a movie in the evening if we feel like it.

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vickie

Thanksgiving is so nice- family over and dinner is the top two!

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Christine P

We always have Andes mints with dessert. When I was little I thought those little rectangles and foil wrappers were the height of elegance. :-)

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Lynn

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is a covered-dish dinner. Being single with no family nearby, it is a lifesaver. Several of us single/divorced/widowed ladies who go to church together plan a football-free Thanksgiving. We go to someone's house. The hostess provides the dining room and fancy tablecloth, china, crystal and silver. She and a turkey committee bake the main course. Other ladies all bring the other components of the meal, and desserts, so that no one person is overburdened getting ready for the feast. We all arrive and take our places around the table, thankful for our friendships. We have nice quiet conversation -- like I said, there is no football game turned on competing with the traditional holiday gathering. Our only background sound is soft music. It is a wonderful heartfelt celebration and we don't go home until late.

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Lisa

Homemade cranberry sauce. I always make extra to use in scones. Yum!

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Melissa Barnes

My mom's chocalate pecan pie! It's the best Thanksgiving tradition!

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Diane

After years of trying to accommodate our merged family by splitting time (kids racing here and there to see their other families) and later trying to visit in laws as well...we just gave up! Now the 5 kids go where they want and we hold our Thanksgiving dinner the weekend after. Now we get all the kids and grandkids!!! Such a simple solution and all the tradition we need.

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Nicholas

I just love Thanksgiving in general. We don't really have any traditions besides coming together and enjoying the food and company.

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Ken Alcorn

the food, shopping, and football are all great, but Family is definately the ebst part

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Joan V.

We are a small family now, so the opportunity to spend a day together is what I enjoy the best. We eat, then clean up all of the dishes together. Then we sit down and fill out Christmas cards so they will be ready to mail the first week in December.

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Luci

My mom's sausage stuffing! So good!

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jennie

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is a long walk after the meal. We are lucky enough to have a Thanksgiving at our family's farm, so we almost always get to hike off the meal while talking and enjoying the beautiful Kentucky scenery. Much better than watching football or taking a nap!

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OFG

Cleaning out the closets and gathering items for the donation center on black friday. We give all that we don't need instead of buying more. It's become a great tradition.

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I bake a pecan pie every year -- for Husband, who grew up in North Carolina, and still loves those good old Southern traditions. (Now, if I could do it while speaking in a Southern acc-sent...)

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Rebecca B. A. R.

Lots of yummy food with family!!!

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Danielle

My mom's jello salad - it's way strange and not something I would be keen on trying if I didn't grow up with it!

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Joseph

Each family member, one by one, picking another family member and saying why they are thankful for that family member.

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Deb

We now spend Thanksgiving with my aunt, uncle, and cousins and their families. I make a yummy recipe of candied yams and apples and head over, watching football, eating, and then playing games. It's great!

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Samantha

I love eating all the leftovers cold the next day!

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Lynda

my favorite thanksgiving tradition is going black friday shopping =P

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Kristine R.

My favorite tradition is my dad's pumpkin pie. It really is the best.

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Raina

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is my father making his 7-layer salad. I've never even tried is since it looks disgusting to me, but everyone else loves it, and it's just that one thing you can count on to always be on the table at Thanksgiving.

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kristina

Getting together with the extended family.

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Alissa A

Getting together with family and having dinner at the local dinner theater.

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KelR1

I love the weird canned jellied cranberry stuff so, even if my family is serving real cranberry sauce, they will buy at least one can of the jellied variety for me. :)

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prathee chandar

My favorite part of thanksgiving is traveling together as a family.

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The table was always set with beautiful china. We stopped using it after my mother died 30 years ago. My father just gave me the whole set. I probably won't use it often, but when I do, I'll remember those wonderful Thanksgiving dinners that my mother cooked.

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Happy Love

I love spending Thanksgiving with family, but I don't love cooking on Thanksiving Day so one of my Thanksgiving traditions is preparing most dishes the day before in casserole dishes that can be baked the next day with no hassle.

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Laura J

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is getting the whole family together for a turkey dinner and everyone states one thing we are thankful for!

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Carmen

Our only tradition really is to get together for a big meal.

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Amanda Sakovitz

going to my aunts house every year

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Mashed potatoes!!!

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Tabathia B

We visit family members, and when we get to my family we watch football, play either family feud on the wii in teams or play board games and catch up with each other

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Patty K.

My favorite family tradition is watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and have a slow, relaxing day with family.

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Thomas Murphy

We go to the local high school football game every year.

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Kim

I love to watch our kids tell us what they're thankful for, stuff ourselves with food, and then watch a great movie.