Story by Sidney Anderson & Karson Lott/Graphic Info by Madison Balboa, Kaylee Wilkinson & Cameron Russo

Everybody seems to have their own Thanksgiving traditions from watching the Macy’s Day Parade to going Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving night. Although some of these activities seem a little strange, every family has a tradition they love.

Some families start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving is even over. They might go to Santaland, since it opened on November 1 or they start watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music.

“All of my family always comes into town for Thanksgiving, and me and my cousins will all play games, watch Christmas movies, eat food, and go to Santa Land,” eighth Grader Abby Quesenbery said. “Then on Friday morning we all go to Chick Fil A for breakfast and we never go Black Friday shopping.”

Some just like to keep it simple. They prefer to celebrate with family and friends and have a big feast. The holiday really is all about spending time with loved ones and eating good food.

“When I was in the military, Thanksgiving was just a normal day and we never really celebrated,” Assistant Principal Michael Higginbotham said. “I really like Thanksgiving now though because I have a big family–five children and three grandchildren, and they all come into town. We’ll all go to my wife’s mom’s house and eat and take a nap and  then eat some more.”

Watching football is also a very popular Thanksgiving tradition.  Some families like to host their own backyard football games. The friendly competitive match pits family against family to add a little more fun to the holiday.

“Sometimes me and my family will play football,” Eighth Grader Caleb Orms said. “We aren’t really competitive, we just play around. Afterwards we go inside and just hang out and eat.”

Often families have different traditions,They would rather spend Thanksgiving Day in the woods hunting for the main course of their Thanksgiving meal, he Turkey. Some families take pride in putting the food on the table with little cost.  

“I like to go hunting with my dad on Thanksgiving,” sixth grader Mason Riley said. “I like to do it because my dad used to go with his dad every Thanksgiving.”

Another tradition is for the serious shoppers to get a head start on their Black Friday shopping. In the past few years the sales have been starting a day early, leaving shoppers anxious to start their spending. Right after the feast, they’re off to start their exploration. Some think it puts them in a Christmas mood to go shopping and buy gifts.

“I really like going Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving,” eighth grader Emma Raney said. ”You get things for a really good price and if you get there early enough you don’t have to fight the crowd.”