Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Thanksgiving Traditions: Weird or funny traditions families have on the holiday

As a day that revolves almost exclusively around food, Thanksgiving isn’t exactly the most charismatic of holidays. In turn, it leaves room for creative and original ways to celebrate.

Many Americans spend the day with family, watch some football and eat past the point of discomfort.

Lots of turkey, casseroles, the obligatory cranberry sauce and a variety of pies are some of the key dishes that make up a standard Thanksgiving meal.
But what about the families who get creative with their Thanksgiving dinners?

Isaiah Knox (fr) said although he doesn’t eat them, the rest of his family enjoys boiled pig intestines, a Southern dish known as “chitlins,”
for Thanksgiving dinner.

“They smell so bad. [My family] makes it as the main dish and turkey is the side dish. That’s our way,” said Knox.

Joel Firebaugh (so) and his family go out for Mexican food the night before Thanksgiving every year. His family began the tradition in Texas, but continued it after moving to Ohio.

“When we moved to Texas, it was right around Thanksgiving… we didn’t have cooking stuff so we went out for Mexican,” said Firebaugh.

And why stop at creative food traditions? With Thanksgiving being a day of lethargy, some families establish activity-based traditions for themselves.

Bryan Stine (sr) has a tradition with his 29-year-old brother, David.

“It’s called ‘Goalie Game,’ Stine said. [Growing up], we shared a room together, so one end of our room would have one goal and the other end of the room would have another goal. And we’d take a paper wad, wad it up, tape it and we’d just throw it at each other and try to get it into the goal.”

Stine said he and David only play Goalie Game on Thanksgiving day.

“If you can imagine a 22-year-old and a 29-year-old playing with a paper wad in a bedroom, that’s what you’ve got,” he said.

Cassie Taylor (jr) and her family take part in a tradition they call “Mud Sliding.”

“My grandma and grandpa have a hill in their yard,” Taylor said. “We sprayed a hose on it because it was really warm. Then we covered ourselves in trash bags and slid down the hill in the mud.”

Taylor said they started the tradition three years ago, and have continued it every year since. The only thing that would keep her family from mud sliding now is if it’s too cold outside.

Anna Ebbers (sr) said her immediate family has been going to the same bowling alley near her home for as long as she could remember.

Ebbers said, “It’s just a fun activity for our family to do together.”

So don’t be self-conscious about your family’s strange Thanksgiving tradition. There are plenty of other families with traditions that are probably weirder than yours.  

This post was written by:

- who has written 45 posts on The Sojourn.

Eric joined The Sojourn in the fall of 2011. He studies Journalism and Music and also is the Productions Director of IWU's radio station, 94.3FM The Fortress. In his astonishingly sparse free time, he enjoys watching Animal Planet and being a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur with his fiancé Brooke.

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