After consulting with the Orange Umbrella team, we’d like to present OU’s official power rankings of Thanksgiving traditions. As a disclaimer, the following is entirely subjective, and does not include every single tradition around. With that being said, here are our Thanksgiving traditions power rankings:
1) The Food
The highlight of any Thanksgiving Day has to center around the mouth-watering goodness of Thanksgiving meals. It is almost impossible not to enjoy a spread that includes turkey, stuffing, pie, and the many more delicious options that make any Thanksgiving meal an absolute delight. In addition to the actual meal, Thanksgiving is also a time when many people participate in food drives to help those who are in need. Between the great meal and the tradition of giving, food has earned the top spot for OU’s Thanksgiving Power Rankings.
2) Family and Friends
Another amazing part of Thanksgiving is the coming together of family and friends. The reality is most people live extremely busy and stressful lives, and do not have the ability to spend as much time with loved ones as they would like. Thanksgiving Day allows people to enjoy the company of those who mean the most to them, which is an amazing opportunity that isn’t available all too often.
Another key Thanksgiving tradition is the three NFL games that happen each year. Most Thursdays during the NFL season only feature one NFL game at night, but Thanksgiving provides NFL football all day. What better way to accompany an excellent meal and great company than America’s most popular sport. Aside from the NFL, Turkey Bowls across the country can bring together family and friends for a little spirited competition.
4) Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Starting at 9:00 a.m. (EST), the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is an incredible parade to watch. From the amazing floats, to the high-flying balloons, to the musical performances, the parade is an amazing spectacle for the entire family. The parade combines so many aspects of American culture and represents the melting pot that is America. Plus, let’s be honest, where else are you going to see a performance from 90’s boy band - 98 Degrees - and then Nicky Jam (both performed in 2017). That’s just hard to pass up.
5) Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Thanksgiving Day exists as an appetizer of sorts to the upcoming holiday season, which can be stressful (and expensive) for those who need to buy gifts for friends and loved ones. While Black Friday/Cyber Monday can be hectic days, the potential savings to the bank account make the two days excellent opportunities for shopping.
6) Television Specials
Thanksgiving is also a time when most of your favorite TV shows will come out with their own Thanksgiving specials. Watching your favorite characters enjoy their own versions of Thanksgiving can provide some of the more memorable episodes. Nothing is more noteworthy, of course, than the image of Lucy once again pulling the old hidden ball trick on Charlie Brown. Predictable? Maybe. Enjoyable? Always.
7) The Turkey Pardoning
The annual tradition of a select turkey receiving a presidential pardon began in 1989 under President H. W. Bush. After receiving the pardon, some of the select few turkeys have been sent to farms to live out their days, and some even became grand marshals of Thanksgiving parades at the Disney World Parade in Florida. Because it’s a pretty creepy tradition, the Turkey Pardoning ranks dead last for OU’s official Thanksgiving Tradition Power Rankings.