Wicked Holiday Guide

Wicked Holiday Guide

Wicked Holiday Guide

Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated with a blend of family, food, and traditions, some of which are deeply rooted in history. But, if you think this holiday is all about the turkey and pumpkin pie, you’re in for a surprise. There are also some more unique and unexpected customs that have found their way into the Thanksgiving celebration.

Traditions surrounding Thanksgiving.

Over time, families and close-knit groups of friends often create their unique Thanksgiving customs, which they observe annually. Many families engage in acts of giving back by volunteering at local food banks or shelters, to share their good fortune with those in need. Some base their day around the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, a tradition since 1924. Then, there’s the age-old custom of partaking in or watching a friendly game of touch football with friends and family. It has also become synonymous with Thanksgiving, creating opportunities for connection and fun.

Commonly practiced annual traditions that some deem as unusual.

Despite the presence of commonly practiced annual traditions, there are some customs that may strike certain people as unusual. For instance, consider the annual Presidential Turkey Pardon, officially known as the “National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation.”  On Thanksgiving Day, the President extends clemency to a specially selected turkey, sparing it from becoming the centerpiece of a meal and ensuring that it lives out its days freely on a farm.

According to the National Turkey Federation, this tradition started in 1947 when President Harry Truman received a live turkey from them. In 1963, President Kennedy returned the gift from the National Turkey Federation to its farm of origin, according to the White House website. Sometime during the Nixon administration, the President began sending the turkey to a petting farm near Washington after the receiving ceremony and photos, although no formal pardon was given. President George H.W. Bush offered the first actual turkey pardon. On November 14, 1989, he declared that year’s turkey had “been granted a presidential pardon as of right now.”

But this is just the start when it comes to unusual Thanksgiving customs. Check out the following list for even more unique and eccentric traditions associated with the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Turkey Bowling

    Frozen turkey bowling is as straightforward as it sounds: Instead of using conventional bowling balls and pins, participants roll frozen turkeys toward rows of soda bottles. According to a report by People magazine in 1988, it was Derrick Johnson, a grocery clerk at a Lucky’s grocery store in Newport Beach, who is credited with the inception of turkey bowling. Johnson recalled witnessing a store manager accidentally knocking down a soda bottle while sliding a turkey across the floor, sparking the idea. Additionally, he took on the role of commissioner for the Poultry Bowlers Association and initiated the sport’s organization.

  • "Not Quite Stuffing" Stuffing

    Surprisingly, there are people who opt for unconventional fillings when preparing their turkey, such as cereal. A quick online search reveals a plethora of recipes featuring non-traditional stuffing. These range from crackers and waffles to pretzels, grapes, and nuts.

    CRUNCH stuffing. This turkey’s last request. #CRUNCHGiving

    Posted by Cap'n Crunch on Monday, November 23, 2015
  • Turkey Toss

    Some people gather to challenge the limits of distance and altitude by launching frozen turkeys. In fact, a group of college students in Indiana took this to the next level in the early 2000s. They came up with the plan of dressing a frozen turkey in a onesie, securing it to a chain, saturating it with lighter fluid, igniting it, and then flinging it across a football field.

    Mouth-watering golden roasted turkey over white background, no garnish.

    evgenyb/ Getty Images

  • Second Wind Walks

    Thanksgiving feasts are often so filling that many families take a post-dinner stroll to make room for dessert. It’s like taking the “I work out so I can eat” mantra to a whole new level. Of course, packing up leftovers for later is an option. But the post-feast walk is a fun tradition for those who can’t resist the temptation of that pumpkin pie.

    Multl generation family in autumn park having fun

    Jovanmandic/ Getty Images

  • Thanksgiving Roasting

    A family drew inspiration from the typical Thanksgiving customs and introduced their own unique tradition. As an X user shared, their kid initiated a comical Thanksgiving tradition by “roasting” everyone at the table. The idea was that since they roast a turkey, why not extend the roasting to the family members too. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?

    Happy multiracial family congratulating grandparents couple with anniversary with champagne at home. Christmas, New year, Thanksgiving, Anniversary, Hanukkah, Mothers day, Easter celebration

    Viktoriia Hnatiuk/ Getty Images


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