Thanksgiving traditions

Out and about

Families share some of their Thanksgiving Day family traditions at Here are just a few. For more, check out the discussion forums online.

“Our family has an activity at the table before dinner where we write what we are thankful for. Then before we sit down, we go around the table and everyone shares their thoughts.”

Meghan Johnson

“Thanksgiving is usually held at my mother’s house. She is one of seven children so the extended family is pretty large. A tradition of ours is the appetizer/dessert recipe contest we have amongst all of the cousins (there’s about 18 of us) every year at Thanksgiving dinner. The person with the most votes wins first place and takes home a tacky prize (past prizes have included a Chia Pet and The Clapper) but more importantly they get bragging rights for a full 12 months.”

Amal Hannoun

“My husband is in charge of the turkey and it is a major production each year. Of course, it always has to be the largest turkey at the store. He has to put on his‘special’ Thanksgiving apron and he gets up really early that morning to prepare.”

Natalie Stover

“My family volunteers at a soup kitchen preparing the food, cleaning up and serving those less fortunate and unlikely to enjoy an elaborate Thanksgiving meal otherwise. It serves as a wonderful lesson to our children and helps us to better appreciate all of the ways in which we are so blessed.”

Rachel Erdman

“Just like when I was a kid, the kids watch the parade on TV while mom gets the turkey in the oven. We put a roll of white butcher paper out and everyone writes what they are thankful for. We display the ones from prior years.”

Lisa Krueger

“My wife, daughter and I drive up to Wisconsin and volunteer at her parents’ local community center to serve food. Then we head to her parent’s house, I play football with all the guys and the seven grandchildren while the girls are inside cooking. We give our thanks and then sit around the couch too stuffed to move.”

Carlos Pina

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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