Across the country every family has their own Thanksgiving Day traditions. Holiday traditions are a great way to bring families closer together on the holiday as everyone has something to look forward to knowing that no matter what that one thing will take place on that day. It can even be a good way to feel connected to your family on the holidays if you are far away from them during the holidays. As you can at least do that one thing knowing that your loved ones are also doing it at the same time.
Some families cook the same meal every year, or watch football, others go outside to play football, while others do Turkey Trots or volunteer at soup kitchens. My family does none of these things.
Over the years we’ve done a number of things on Thanksgiving Day over the years. There have been years when we had venison or ham instead of turkey. There have been years that it was warm enough for us to go for a walk after dinner or where we had gone back south and could do that. While there have been other years where we talked about how if it wasn’t snowing we could go for a walk. Mostly though we have no strong traditions that we have to do on Thanksgiving Day no matter what.
Except for one. Every single year we all watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade no matter where we are. There isn’t a single year in my entire life that I can recall not watching that parade on Thanksgiving Day. Even though we can’t all be together on Thanksgiving Day every year, which is most of it these days, we all make sure that we are up and watching the parade at the same time.
For my family at least, watching the parade has given us all something in common about the holiday while apart for over a decade now. Which means at the end of the holiday we all have at least one shared experience to talk about no matter what else happened allowing for that feeling of togetherness that traditions create.