Now that Thanksgiving is here, it’s time to start cleaning up in anticipation of hosting a houseful of family, watching Food Network holiday marathons on turkey cooking tips, and double checking to make sure the TV is in good working order for the Dallas Cowboys’ big game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
As I reflect on this special time of year, I recall some our favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Some of them are tried and true and reminiscent of my childhood, while others were created along the way as we continue to do life together as a family.
5 Thanksgiving Traditions to Gobble Up this Year:
- Kick off the day by watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in your jammies
Nothing kicks off Thanksgiving Day better than watching the parade on TV while still in your pajamas with a cup of coffee, and your kids parked alongside wolfing down a stack of pancakes and warm sticky syrup.
For me, the parade officially kicks off the holiday season with giant helium balloons, floats of fancy, marching bands, celebrities, performance groups and the one-and-only Santa Claus.
Going to the Big Apple to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person has been on my bucket list since I was a kid. One day, I hope to be right there when the parade steps off at 78th Street and Central Park West and then follow the procession down to Columbus Circle. Until then, I’ll be happy to enjoy it from the comfort of my couch with a second cup of coffee. Or you can catch it with me on NBC Thursday, Nov. 23 at 9 a.m. all time zones.
- Run the Turkey Trot
Thanksgiving morning we’ll also strap on our running shoes and get our gobble on at the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot in downtown Dallas. Second only to the Macy’s Day Parade, the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot is the largest Thanksgiving Day event of its kind in the world.
Our Thanksgiving traditions also include doing the Turkey Trot races in whatever city we might be visiting. Even if you’re not a runner or walker, there are fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.
- Order a Razzoo’s Cajun Fried Turkey
You can order a flavor injected, spiced rubbed and fried to juicy, golden perfection. They’re about 15 pound average and feeds 10-12 normal people (or just my hubby all by himself.) The cost is $64.95
While you’re at Razzoo’s, you’ll definitely want to put an order in for their amazing Peach ‘N’ Pecan Bread Pudding. It’s house made with french bread, fresh eggs, cream, golden raisins, peaches and pecans. You can serve it up with a side of dark Jamaican rum sauce. Full Pan (Feeds 12-15) $34.95
- Plot Your Black Friday Strategy
It used to be that we would plot out our Black Friday holiday shopping strategy while watching the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving football game.
But now that Black Friday deals are available before and during Thanksgiving Day, my mom and I have to get really creative. We’ve got to sync up our Thanksgiving cooking schedules to coincide with which stores to hit and adjust our travel time to the new holiday store hours and door-buster sales.
It can be extremely overwhelming and feel more like orchestrating a finely tuned militaristic maneuver. This might drive me back to more online shopping this season. But for me and my mom, it’s the thrill of the hunt – not only for the best deal, but how to score the best mall parking space closest to the door.
- Attend a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Finally, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions actually has to do with celebrating a completely different holiday all together. It’s the annual lighting of the Christmas tree which often takes place the weekend before or immediately after Thanksgiving Day.
You can find tree lighting ceremonies everywhere this time of year from your local mall, to the town square and all points in between.
Our plan is to check out the first annual lighting of The Star in Frisco‘s 52-foot Christmas tree, located on Tostitos Championship Plaza. The ceremony will take place on Friday, Nov. 24 at 6pm. The tree lighting is a free event that will kick off the Cowboys Christmas Spectacular.
Watching the growing anticipation on the faces in the crowd as the countdown begins to light the tree just never gets old. The ceremony brings people together from all backgrounds, and reflects how much more alike we are than different.
It refocuses our attention on the spirit of the season. And it spreads joy with just a flip of a switch that illuminates the night sky with a holiday glow that makes this tradition truly one that I’m thankful for.