Does your family follow any kind of Thanksgiving traditions? Sorry, eating doesn’t count. Black Friday shopping riots don’t count either. We are talking Thanksgiving Day specifically…not the day before, not the day after.

Today’s Thanksgiving traditions are…..what? They might include:
Watching the Thanksgiving Day parade
Eating a big turkey dinner
Napping after the big meal
Watching football
Telling what you are thankful for

All fine and dandy, but what are some of the older Thanksgiving Day traditions that seem to have fallen by the wayside?

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According to Conservation Construction, around the late 1800s into the early 1900s, people used to send out Thanksgiving cards, the way we do Christmas cards. Instead of Santa, elves, candy canes, Rudolph, Christmas trees, et cetera, the old tyme Thanksgiving cards featured pilgrims, pumpkins, and turkeys…mostly turkeys. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten one.

Before dinner, family members and guests would go outside and start up a football game. This was intended to get everyone hungry enough to pack away a lot of food. It also prevented family members to avoid talking politics. (Bring this tradition back!)

Before the big dinner, families would sit around and relate the story of the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Indians.

A hundred or more years ago, those who lived on farms would eat whatever animal was on the farm. No turkeys around? Then they’d settle for pork, beef, lamb, or chicken. At Thanksgiving dinner, each guest used to be given an assigned seat with his/her name on a place card.

The turkey stuffing used to be made with more rice than bread. Some used corn bread.

Does anyone ever make a wish on the wishbone anymore? It used to be a tradition, now very few people wanna bother with it. You have to wait for the bone to dry out before you can easily snap it…..keeping guests around just a little longer while they waited…

If ya wanna really do something different, prepare a meal with the foods that are believed to have been served at that first Thanksgiving dinner:
Duck
Eel
Fish
Fruits: blueberries, cranberries, grapes, gooseberries, plums, and raspberries
Lobster
Oysters and other shellfish
Vegetables: beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, spinach, and squash
Venison
Wild turkey

Of course, nobody knows exactly what foods were eaten that day, but it’s speculated that those are good guesses!

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