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Thanksgiving traditions for the ultimate celebration

a flag of the United States, a chalkboard with the text happy thanksgiving day and a roast turkey in a tray with vegetables on a
juan moyano / Alamy Stock Photo

Get into the holiday spirit with these awesome Thanksgiving traditions to keep the whole family entertained!

Thursday 23rd November marks the US national holiday of Thanksgiving 2017, traditionally celebrated to give thanks for the harvest and the year that has passed. We’ve scoured the internet and spoken to our US team to create this awesome list of ways to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Got a family tradition for Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

1. Family breakfast

You don’t need to wait until dinner to spend time with your loved ones! Although breakfast might sound daunting to anyone wanting to ‘save space’ for their Thanksgiving dinner, it’s an awesome and relaxing way to start the day. Treat yourself to pancakes, eggs, waffles or whatever you fancy to ease yourself into the holiday spirit.

Breakfast pancakes, fruit, eggs, bacon and toast
D. Hurst / Alamy Stock Photo

2. Thanksgiving dinner

Probably the most well-known and popular of all the traditions we’ve heard about.

Thanksgiving dinner brings friends and families together around the table and offers a chance to show appreciation of the people closest to you.

Typically, Thanksgiving dinner includes roast turkey with all the accompaniments – cranberry sauce, candied yams, mashed potatoes, green bean salad and of course stuffing (or dressing as it’s known in the South).

If, like Adam in our US account management team, you prefer to indulge in a veggie-friendly roast, the traditional turkey can be swapped for tofurkey. Of course, this is accompanied by all the trimmings!

Full Homemade Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey Stuffing Veggies and Potatos
Contributor: Brent Hofacker

Interesting fact: At the first Thanksgiving, the Puritans ate a seafood stew.  They lived in New England where seafood was one of the main staple foods. It wasn’t until years later that Turkey emerged as the new traditional food to be eaten on Thanksgiving.

3. Giving thanks 

This is a huge part of the day for Lisa in our account management team. Lisa and her family take it in turns to go around the table and each say one thing they are thankful for. Since it’s a day all about giving thanks, this tradition makes sure they really appreciate the meaning of the holiday!

Thanksgiving Autumn feast fruit, with persimmons and pomegranates tumbling out of a basket with Thanks message on a rustic wood
Milleflore Images – Food and Tableware Misc / Alamy Stock Photo

4. A long afternoon stroll

So, you’ve finished your roast dinner and the prospect of dessert is a little bit sickening. Why not head outdoors for an afternoon walk with your loved ones? Hopefully by now the autumn weather is turning cooler, so get out and enjoy the crisp autumn leaves, fresh air and seasonal colours.

happy young couple playing and laughing together in autumn park
Anna Berkut / Alamy Stock Photo

Find some autumnal inspiration in our blog >

5. Indulgent desserts

Another very popular part of the Thanksgiving celebrations, the traditional dessert is pumpkin and apple pies to celebrate the full harvest.

Homemade pumpkin pies with Autumn stamped leafs.
Arina Habich / Alamy Stock Photo

Susan from our US account management team opts for something a little different with her family, as they love to tuck into chocolate babka, which is a bread-like cake.

Dairy-free chocolate babka
Tim Hill / Alamy Stock Photo

Feeling a bit tired after cooking all day? Why not get the kids involved and ask them to serve dessert?! (You deserve a rest!)

6. American football 

In true American spirit, Jemal and Simon from our US team love this part of the day! Their families sit back and relax to watch football on TV, both before and after dinner, and consider this the perfect way to spend the day!

24.11.2016. Detroit. MI, USA. Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws deep during the NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day November 24, 2016, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
Action Plus Sports Images / Alamy Stock Photo

7. Connect with long-distance friends and family

No matter how you spend your day, make some time to get in touch with those who aren’t able to share the day with you. It’s a holiday all about thanks and appreciation, after-all! So pick up the phone, iPad (or any other telecommunications device) and check in with your loved ones.

Senior man using mini tablet and headphones for skyping with his grandson
Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

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