Celebrating Thanksgiving: 9 traditions for families and friends

ORLANDO, Fla. — This year may be a little different due to the pandemic, but many families and friends will be coming together, whether in-person or virtually, to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Here are nine Thanksgiving traditions:

1. Travel

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Families typically choose to drive, fly or travel by train.

Over the weekend, about 1 million Americans a day packed airports. The number is significantly low due to the pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning Americans to not travel this year.

2. Turkey pardon

Corn or cob? The president made a big decision to make ahead of Thanksgiving.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted the annual presidential turkey pardoning ceremony Tuesday in the White House Rose Garden, where one lucky bird won the title.

This year, voters choose between candidates Corn and Cob, two turkeys from Iowa.

READ: White House turkey pardon: Will Corn or Cob be named National Thanksgiving Turkey?

Corn was named the 2020 National Thanksgiving Turkey.

3. Thanksgiving Day Parade

Even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the Thanksgiving Day Parade is still on.

The parade will have no spectators lining the streets of Manhattan. Instead, it will be broadcast only, the “Today” show reported.

The parade won’t march for the 2 1/2 mile route, but will instead be staged in front of Macy’s Herald Square flagship at 34th Street, The New York Times reported.

The balloons will be tethered to anchor vehicles, not pulled by hundreds of handlers.

Click here to learn more about the parade.

4. The feast

We can’t forget one of the most important parts of Thanksgiving, the food!

Many families choose to go the “traditional” route and eat turkey, stuff, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to celebrate the holiday. But the possibilities are endless.

Plus, you can always order a pizza if all goes wrong.

5. The wishbone

If you’re feeling lucky, you could try your luck by breaking the turkey’s wishbone once the turkey’s been eaten.

The wishbone is attached to the breast meat in the turkey’s chest. Once it becomes dry and brittle, two people can take each end of the bone, make a wish and pull it.

Whoever ends up with the larger part of the bone gets their wish.

6. After the meal

After the food is eaten and the dishes are washed, it’s time to relax.

Some families choose to go on walks, bike rides or simply take a nap after eating all that turkey.

Other families may play board or card games together.

7. Watching football

Many families may prepare for their favorite football teams to take the field on Thanksgiving Day. This year, six teams will be facing off.

Here are the games and times:

  • Houston Texas vs. Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m.
  • Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m.
  • Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:20 p.m.

8. Volunteering

Some families choose to use their time to help others on Thanksgiving.

Some people will volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters, donate to shelters or participate in canned food drives.

Due to the pandemic, some of these options may not be available this year.

9. What are you thankful for?

It’s a question many families ask right before digging in: What are you thankful for?

Whether it’s health, family or simply being able to spend another day together, many Americans have a lot to be thankful for this year.

This year may have been a roller coaster, but whether you’re spending Thanksgiving on Zoom or are taking extra precautions while spending time together in-person, at least you have each other to spend the holiday with.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.