Look, every family is weird in their own way, right? That’s what makes family moments so memorable. Sometimes you don’t even realize the peculiarities of your own bunch until you spend time with someone else’s family and oof, then it gets extra strange. We asked people to tell us what makes their Thanksgiving celebrations different from the “normal” ones we might see on holiday ads. Here’s what they had to say about their Thanksgiving tradition quirks.
“To get the kids out of the kitchen, my mom would have the kids put together a play to perform after the meal. Being some of the weirdest headstrong kids around, the performances were always a bit, shall we say, bizarre. One memorable year (thankfully after I’d stopped being included in this) the kids decided to put on a play to the song “Earl Had to Die” by the Dixie Chicks. Nothing quite says family togetherness and gratitude like a bunch of kids elaborately acting out poisoning an abusive husband.” — Kaitlin Racine
“I can’t stand turkey or any of the traditional side dishes that all come from a can and are super heavy, so my family and I always make tacos. When we tell people this, more often than not they say how good tacos sound instead of turkey!” — Laura Dembowski
“Back in 1996 (OH YES) my dad wrote up a funny Thanksgiving menu to print out to give everyone at the table. It had puns, quirky humor and little nods to family members. Throughout the years it eventually evolved into an annual poem he writes that incorporates every single family member, something funny or notable they did that year, and yes — it rhymes. Everyone gets a copy and we’ve saved them all. Oh, and the tradition is, before we eat my dad stands up and reads it.” — Ali Arnone
“My stepdad is Jewish so for Thanksgiving and Christmas when the whole family eats together and all bring dishes he makes krugel. It is our own tradition that we love.One year he messed up the recipe and accidentally added salt instead of sugar (grabbed the wrong canister) and it was inedible. That was about five years ago. Now, every year, when he brings it, we joke, asking if there is salt or sugar in it.” — Deborah Dennert
“For over 10 years, every Thanksgiving my mom and I wake up early in the morning, cook an entire traditional Thanksgiving Day meal — turkey, cranberry sauce from scratch, mashed potatoes — the works! We then wrap it up, drive it to a local shelter, drive home and order Chinese food. It’s our most favorite tradition! One year, we got home a little later and every Chinese restaurant was already closed. I remember us eating old frozen tater tots – the only thing left in the fridge, we still think back and smile!” — Anna De Souza
“My first Thanksgiving trying to cook allergy-free after my son’s diagnoses. Trying to make a green bean casserole without cream of mushroom soup, pie without eggs or evaporated milk and mashed potatoes without dairy had me in TEARS! We have Thanksgiving 2x a year. One actually on Thanksgiving Day and the other is during the SuperBowl! The food is just so good, why only eat it once a year.” — Nicole Dawson
“For the past few years I’ve invited my ex-husband to our Thanksgiving dinner. It means so much to our son, and I’ll always consider him family, after all. Since we live far away from parents, siblings, and cousins and never travel for the holiday it just makes sense.” — Adriana Velez
Do you have any unique Thanksgiving traditions?