Whether you spend the day going around the table telling everyone what you’re thankful for or spend the day yelling at your loved ones because the food all tastes like dirt, many of you have established a tradition over the years. From readers who get wasted with the whole neighborhood, to your local tattoo guy who lives for the thrill of Walmart shopping, here’s how some of the people in your neck of the woods celebrate Thanksgiving each year.
Mary C., Swaybae
I grew up outside Syracuse, NY. For nearly a decade, my family and friends (and half our neighborhood) have organized the “Gobble til you Wobble” (GOTW) wine tour on the Saturday after turkey day. Bus pickup is in my parents’ driveway around 9am, only you don’t get a seat until you’ve completed the morning challenge of knocking back a Thanksgiving-themed shot out of an ice shotglass and promptly SMASHING your glass on the driveway. Extra points if you choose to model your favorite silly turkey hat or light-up t-shirt.
Then, board the bus with all the frosty beverages you will need to consume between home and the first winery. As the day wears on, we taste wine, drink beer on the bus, stuff our faces full of Wegman’s subs, and usually pass around a bottle of Doctor McGillicuddy’s for more shared shots (a time-honored tradition started by my dad, which even made a crucial appearance at both mine and my sister’s weddings). No germaphobes allowed, clearly.
By the time the bus drops us off back at home, everyone is starving and we have to clean out a few crockpots of chili or pulled pork before anyone is sober enough to leave for home. We’ll all stumble across bottles purchased on this trip throughout following the year and have fun reminiscing. Bottles purchased early in the morning of the GTYW tour are usually pretty awesome, but by the time you’re tasting at your sixth/seventh/eighth winery, all bets are off.
Jessica C., Swaybae
My brother has been deployed 5 out of the last 8 Thanksgivings, and every year he’s away I have my class of 3rd graders send him thank-you cards. We also make turkeys where they can write what they’re thankful for on the feathers, but I just feel like helping them be thankful for something bigger than cookies and puppies is so special.
Tanner M., Swaybae
We always host, every year, how do people get out of that? My wife cooks a turkey and I am responsible for sides, so every year she stresses that I haven’t gone shopping the weekend before, and I tell her it’s alright, then Wednesday evening when she gets home she sees a fridge full of sides. She never asks where they come from, but surely she’s seen the garbage full of take out containers at least once.
Then every year she gets me at least one cooking-related item for Christmas “to help make my delicious sides next year.” Traditions are fun.
Craig, Valhalla Tattoo
I eat turkey on Thanksgiving, just like everyone else, but the real fun starts on Black Friday when I go to Walmart to people watch. I don’t shop, just watch for the thrill of things.
Chef Mark Elliot, Elliott’s on Linden, Sly Fox, etc.
My favorite holiday tradition? Working *hahaha* But honestly I love making the traditional Christmas pudding.
Sundi, Mockingbird on Broad
I love to spend time with friends, and being a prior military spouse I know how important it is to invite friends to join us. I always tell people to bring what is personal to you because Thanksgiving is so personal- bring whatever makes you feel not so far from home.
Fallon Brewington, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills
Our holiday tradition is spending time with family and friends. It’s a time where we don’t have to focus on anything else but the people who matter the most to us. We rotate between my brother’s home and mine for each holiday. We do a potluck so we all make our best dishes of the traditional holiday meal. After dinner is when the friends tend to drop by. Everyone knows my brother is a talented baker, so we always seem to get friends coming by whichever house we’re at to see what desserts he whipped up each year. We’re really close knit so we’ll just sit around and watch movies and play games until time for either family to travel home.
The day after each holiday we typically spend time and eat holiday leftovers with our really close friends who have coined the term “Second Thanksgiving or Second Christmas”. We know that the actual holiday is reserved for the obligatory family dinners, but the day after is the time to really spend it with friends who are just as close as family.