There are an incredible variety of Thanksgiving traditions. Many are centered on football (the pointy ended American kind), the Dallas Cowboys play every Thanksgiving, so in my family dinner was arranged around the game, as we moved around the country dinner time changed to facilitate watching the game. Last year Lieve and I were in Dallas so she was able to witness the event with my extended family, complete with the unspoken wagers on who would pass out on the floor first, my nephew Kirk won, dead to the world only minutes after dinner.
In High School, Thanksgiving meant the homecoming game against Summit. Wonderful memories of buying two cups of coffee just to keep my hands warm, and a drumstick cracking on the downbeat as we marched onto the frozen field. My first Thanksgiving after High School the holiday completely skipped my mind. I called a friend to hear a band at a bar, and didn’t understand why she had the family over for dinner on a Thursday.
There are movies that are family viewing traditions, for some reason “E.T.” has become a tradition in some families, I seem to remember watching “Wizard of Oz” every year at some point. I picked up the habit of sharing “WKRP in Cincinnati”s “Turkey Drop” episode with my friends. It seems even more appropriate now that I’m a vegetarian.
When I moved to Philadelphia, I found one radio DJ, Pierre Robert, would play “Alice’s Restaurant” every Thanksgiving, which seemed a perfect occasion, so I picked up that tradition. It’s the source of numerous lines I use in everyday conversation (Of course WKRP’s “Thanks for that on the spot report” ranks high as well). My favorite is “If you want to end the war and stuff you have to sing loud“. There have been a few revisions over the years, but the original is the best, capturing a Thanksgiving that can’t be beat, and the world before “don’t ask don’t tell”.