When I still lived in Tennessee, the majority of my family was living in the area. It was tradition to gather for Thanksgiving at my Nana's house. At peak gathering levels we'd have 25 people in the house, but each year we typically averaged at about 16-18. I do miss the bustle of too many family members in one place. Nowadays, Thanksgiving is a bit scattered. If we go home, we'll get roped into double Thanksgiving with my parents and then my in-laws. The years we've been home have always been the same traditional foods, which I have no complaint about. It's comforting to have both a deep-fried turkey and a huge picnic ham. The things that do not change are some of the best things about Thanksgiving for me.
Same menu most my life. Looks kind of plain, but super yummy.
We usually celebrate Thanksgiving with my in-laws and eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the fixings. I like to get a newspaper and look through all the Thanksgiving ads to see if there's anything I want to brave the crowds for on Black Friday. A movie might be in order, depending on what's playing at the theater. It's a really low-key, relaxing day. :-)
My family has been going my uncle's home in Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving for over 20 years now. Our families are very close, and the cousins are close in age, so I have many wonderful memories with them. Even though it is freezing cold, I really enjoy Chicago during the holidays. We have different activities for Thanksgiving weekend that we have done for years, like going to the movies and the Polish grocery stores. We usually have a turkey tetrazzini night and a pizza night. But of course, the food Thanksgiving Day is the best :) It is my favorite holiday for all of these reasons!
On the Friday after Thanksgiving we usually make tamales. This is a time-consuming, multi-step process and one in which taking a team approach is especially helpful. The day after Thanksgiving is the prime time to make them, since my family is all together then. We make several dozen and freeze them to enjoy on Christmas Eve and then have some in the freezer to savor throughout the next few months.