Thanksgiving Traditions?

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I was curious - What are everyone's traditions?

  • Is anyone traveling very far?
  • How big of a gathering?
  • What kind of food?
  • Any board games you'll be bringing along/busting out for the family? Which have been a hit or a miss?

My family only started celebrating it after my wife and I got married. We're the ones who breathed some festive spirit into both of our families. I remember the first time my wife took a frozen turkey to my parents' home for dinner. She had been under the impression that it was a pre-cooked frozen turkey but at around 5pm, my mom panicked after opening it up and realizing it's raw (for those who've never cooked a turkey before, they take FOREVER in the oven). So we quickly googled/YouTube'd for solutions and ended up opening up the turkey in butterfly style and cooked it that way. Probably took less than half of the usual time to cook and it ended up being the best turkey we've ever had so it all worked out in the end (and all the panicking and laughing sure made it memorable for our first Thanksgiving after our marriage). As for the rest of the food, we try to cover the typical base of having turkey, stuffing, mashed potato, cranberry sauce, etc.

Our gathering for both sides of the family is small, just kept to the immediate family members - only because all of our relatives are in Korea. My parents live with us now in San Luis Obispo, CA, and my wife's family is in Glendale about 3 hours away. We usually alternated by visiting one of the families for Thanksgiving and then the other for Christmas. Now that my parents are with us, we'll likely be able to celebrate both with each of our families.

For board games, I'll probably bring out some family games like Just One or anything lighthearted, quick, and something that will lead to lots of laughing. Any recommendations would be great!

4 points by philryuh - updated 7 months ago | 10 comments | report | subscribe

JamesReid860 Supporter7 months ago | 1 point[-]

We usually have a family thanksgiving day where we start with brunch and then have an early dinner later. All the traditional foods :). We'll watch football and get some games (at least as much as I can convince my family to). Later in the week, we'll have an extended family thanksgiving with about 30 people. 

HooperGirl 7 months ago | 1 point[-]

I can't find a good link, but we have played a game similar to this with paper towel tubes cut in half lengthwise. We had four or five people standaing on each side of the table and raced a marble across the lines!

We usually have about 20, sometimes more or less.

Codenames is a great family gathering game!

HooperGirl 7 months ago | 1 point[-]

We have been hosting for the past 11 years since we moved to Maine. Before the big meal, we have a Snoopy Thanksgiving and watch the Peanuts special while eating what Snoopy serves up--popcorn, peanuts, jelly beans, and toast! 

philryuh Supporter7 months ago | 1 point[-]

It's always fun to watch the old classics :)

Edit: 11 years?? wow

BenjaminK 7 months ago | 1 point[-]

We're driving up to Minnesota, as my wife's aunt is hosting Thanksgiving for a bunch of the family. She comes from a large family--both immediate and extended--so holidays are always hopping. Being Canadian, I always just go with what the locals do. When in Rome and all that. haha

We will be bringing Wingspan, since 1) it's a great game and 2) a bunch of her family are big into birding, including her board gaming uncle who is coming up from Texas. So that'll be a lot of fun playing games with them. 

I'm not huge into party games (I think they overdid it when I was in college haha), but Danger the Game is a really fun one. I'd suggest checking it out to see if that's something your family would like. It's kind of like Apples to Apples in nature, however there's a lot more creativity involved. Essentially, one person is in "danger" (according to the Danger card drawn), and the other players play a tool and a characteristic (I think? It's been a while...) and have to justify why that combination is the best way out of said danger. It's a pretty fun game, but I think it definitely depends on who's playing it. I know some people certainly wouldn't be into that type of thing, but I liked it quite a bit.

philryuh Supporter7 months ago | 1 point[-]

Haha nice, I love that you're taking Wingspan with you. I hope the family has a blast!

I'll check out that game, although I'm personally resistant/hesitant toward Apples to Apples types of games xD

BenjaminK 7 months ago | 1 point[-]

I would rather play most games than Apples to Apples, but I did enjoy Danger the Game. Still, it's not for everyone, so follow your heart.

Marshwiggle92 Supporter7 months ago | 1 point[-]

Every third year we go to Ohio for thanksgiving. There we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving day with my mothers extended family, around 55 people. We rent a lodge or something so that we can all be together. It is a time of reminiscing, eating, and some light gaming. Their are a number of mass market games, but there I have had a number of people wanting to play the gateway games I bring. They don't really want to move beyond those games, but that is fine.

The day after we typically celebrate Christmas 6 weeks early.  There are the gifts, the food, the celebration, and the general good time. Typically my grandfather will have a short devotional about the significance of Christmas, usually he delivers this in the particular German dialect that most of us grew up speaking. As far as gaming goes, gateway or mass market. We do play a few party games, but they don't seem to be very popular with most of my family.

the years we don't go east, we generally just stay home, have a relaxing day, play a few games, eat some food, invite some friends/family.....      

My wife and I are trying decide what customs we want to maintain now that we aren't in the states anymore. I/we expect to travel back for some holidays, but we can't do them all.

philryuh Supporter7 months ago | 1 point[-]

55 people?? That's a big gathering. Sounds like a lot of fun though haha but I'm sure having some relaxing time with just your family and friends is needed at times too.

Which gateways do you typically bring along?

Marshwiggle92 Supporter7 months ago | 1 point[-]

I guess it is a big gathering. When we get together with my dad's family there are usually 80ish people if everyone is there. So I'm not really use to thinking of it as big. 

They really enjoy: CarcassonneCatan especially with the Cities and Knights expansion, Dominion: Second Edition, two somewhat heavier games that usually come out are Power Grid and Acquire

Edit: PandemicForbidden Island, and Ticket To Ride are done others that get played. 

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