Most people have some sort of tradition for Thanksgiving Day, whether it’s a friendly game of football or an afternoon spent deep-frying everything in sight (that would be my family’s tradition). We asked our neighbors what some of their traditions are for Thanksgiving, and they didn’t disappoint.
“Every Thanksgiving, we play “the gobble gobble game” after dinner. This includes hiding a miniature statue of a turkey for each grandchild, who then searches the room, attempting to find the turkey while we all chant “gobble gobble” at an increased pace as they get closer to the hidden turkey until it is found. It started when they were little and we still make them play. They are all in their 20s.
– The family’s name starts with R, but asked to remain anonymous for fear of “mortifying the young adults.”
“Our family bundles up and goes downtown for the Thanksgiving Day parade on Thanksgiving morning. Through the years ,friends and extended family have occasionally joined. Although our kids are now all in their 20s and give me a hard time about going, they never seem to miss and even invite friends at times. I hope it’s a memory and tradition that lives on.”
– Marybeth Jones
“My family heads over to my in-laws for thanksgiving. My mother in-law is the master chef, cooking vegan, celiac, and regular Thanksgiving dishes. It’s usually a group of around 14 people, but we also add any family from out of town to the guest list. This year some of our family from Ireland is joining. And we always close out the night with full family singalongs. The kids all get to perform something they have been working on and we just sit around singing all night.”
- Amy Morrow
“Our extended family — 40 to 50 of us — meets at Marshall Field’s for pictures with Santa the day before Thanksgiving. We have lunch at the Walnut Room, enjoy the beautifully decorated windows, then stroll to Daley Plaza for Christkindlmarket. We’ve been doing some version of this celebration for 20 years.”
- Laurie Cleary
“A few years ago, our kids began water-coloring origami candle holders in fall colors to decorate our Thanksgiving table. The centerpiece includes dried branches and throughout the day, we take a few moments to write down some of the things we are grateful for on gold paper leaves to fill the branches. We also include a few recipes each year that have been handed down from grandparents and great grandparents.”
- Zachery, Brian Wilson-Race & Family
Other submissions included the Cosme Park gratitude tree (thanks Kate Ciani!) and The Turkey Trot (thanks Jan Rauen!).