The Thanksgiving traditions that get all the press are the turkey and other foods, football, Macy's parade, and Christmas shopping. The authors of first major sociological study of Thanksgiving, published 21 years ago in the Journal of Consumer Research, identified those other traditions that everyone recognizes, but didn't realize that so many other families do the same things. For example:
2. The forgetting of the ingredient
Oh no! I forgot to put the evaporated milk in the pumpkin pie! As the authors of the Thanksgiving study state, “since there is no written liturgy to insure exact replication each year, sometimes things are forgotten.” In the ritual pattern, the forgetting is followed by lamentation, reassurance, acceptance, and the restoration of comfortable stability. It reinforces the themes of abundance (we’ve got plenty even if not everything works out) and family togetherness (we can overcome obstacles).
Oh yeah, that happens every year at my house. So do the other six traditions you can read about at mental_floss. Link
(Image credit: Flickr user TheCulinaryGeek)