6 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Traditions We Love

6 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Traditions We Love

As we near toward Turkey Day, there are families near and far planning how they will spend the big day. After all, it’s a national holiday, no matter where you come from or what you believe. In the United States, we take time to be thankful, oftentimes with food. Yes, on Thanksgiving, we eat. Aside from the normal pomp and circumstance, however, there’s plenty to be celebrated and explored on this big day.

Take a look at some of these less traditional events and consider sprinkling them in this year’s plans. From switching up what you serve, to how you spend the day, consider a chance at new, even non-turkey centered traditions to enjoy with your military family. 

1. Throw Out the Menu!

Who says turkey and stuffing is the only thing that can be on the table? Sure there’s “supposed to be” mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, Jello salads, and dinner rolls, but what if you kicked ALL of that to the curb and made something completely new? Create a theme, or simply test out different dishes on this most celebrated of food holidays. 

And for the non-cooks, no you don’t have to do it yourself. There are plenty of restaurants that offer different meals for pick up orders, including full family meals. Or you can hope for a neighbor who loves to try new things! 

2. Turkey Bowling

Yes turkey bowling, as in bowling, but with a turkey instead of a ball. Pins are fair game with anything from actual bowling pins to empty soda bottles. This is a real thing that takes place annually in Newport Beach, California. Lucky’s Grocery Shop started the tradition back in 1988 as a promotional event. With customers bowling down every aisle of the store, it stuck! Customers still bowl turkeys each year at Lucky’s (or wherever their heart desires) come Thanksgiving. 

3. The Turkey Trot

Go on a run for a good cause, turkey style! Turkey trots are a fun run event where participants jog anywhere from three to five miles and usually raise funds for some type of charity, especially food banks. The best part, however, is when participants dress up as turkeys themselves. They bring in as many viewers as they do dollars for a good cause.

4. Turducken 

Yes, we’ve got another tradition based around food. This one, the turducken, is actually a combination of three entire meats — a chicken, placed inside a duck, that’s then placed inside a turkey. (All have to be de-boned in order for this to play out correctly.) We’ll leave the logistics to you, but the combo is supposed to be a delicious — and interesting — twist on November foods. Just don’t forget your cooking thermometer! If you’re lucky, you can even find a pre-stuffed version in your area. Simply take it home and cook! 

5. All-Day PJ Day

Here’s a new idea we can get on board with! Apparently, there are many families who simply use the day to stay in pajamas. Traditional meals included, just no “real” clothes. Guests are also encouraged to come in pajamas and spend the day cozy. The most hardcore celebrators even get Thanksgiving-themed jammies and decide who found the best Turkey Day outfit among them all. 

6. Roasting the Family, Not Just the Meat

Honestly, this one sounds dangerous. Families sit around the dinner table and roast each other, comedy style. We’re not sure how far the jokes actually go, but it’s likely that there are some awkward moments during and after dinner at these events. Let’s hope everyone is a good sport, to say the least. 

What’s your favorite Turkey Day tradition? Even if you stick the most common trends that we know and love, consider an addition for fun. 

Let us know about your favorite traditions: drop them below. 

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