Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday marked in the United States. The 400-year-old celebration began when the Pilgrims, joined by members of the Wampanoag tribe, gathered in Plymouth Colony (now part of Massachusetts) to thank God for their bountiful first harvest in America. Today, people celebrate the holiday in gratitude for all the blessings of the past year.
American families typically partake of a Thanksgiving feast including turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and herbed bread stuffing. Turkey, in particular, is synonymous with the holiday since nearly 90% of American homes eat the bird, either roasted or deep-fried.
This holiday, originally associated with Pilgrims and Native Americans, has come to symbolize America's opportunity for newcomers, intercultural peace, and the sanctity of family and home. For many, it also signals the start of the holiday shopping season. Read on to learn about some Thanksgiving specials you might enjoy.
Types of Deals To Look Out For
You can check several popular restaurants, big box stores, food chains, and even travel companies across the United State for deals. Look out for special Thanksgiving meal deals too. Several venues provided quality deals in the past, which they could repeat this year. This year’s best deals, food and otherwise, for Thanksgiving, include:
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Mountain Mike’s Pizza
Mountain Mike's offered a 15% discount off all large pizzas in the past. This deal began in celebration of Veterans Day and ran through Thanksgiving Eve.
The well-known burger joint had a deal where customers got a key tag in exchange for a $2 donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation. This key tag could land you free Frostys for a whole year. The offer lasted from Thanksgiving through January.
Auntie Anne's celebrated the return of its popular Chocolate Frost drink by offering free deliveries via the Pretzel Perks app. The deal was available Monday through Friday from Thanksgiving to January.
This sugarcane-based sweetener enterprise offered 45% off an entire order for Black Friday. It also included a bonus of 5% off for customers who waited until Cyber Monday. The deal ran for four days, starting with Thanksgiving Day.
Apart from the food deals, past Thanksgiving Day offers have included free meals. Some restaurants that offered free menus included:
Steak n' Shake
Steak n' Shake had an offer where you could get a free order of fries without a minimum order when going through the drive-thru. You could also get free delivery throughout November if you hit the $10 order minimum when ordering via the restaurant's mobile app or website.
In the past, Dunkin' gave a free half-dozen assorted donuts when you ordered through Uber Eats and hit the $12 order minimum.
McDonald's provided a free McFlurry via the J Balvin Meal deal when you purchased French fries and a Big Mac through the mobile app.
You got a free iced or hot coffee for Thanksgiving at Cumberland Farms. The offer also applied to other beverages like hot tea, cappuccinos, and hot chocolate.
Budget-Friendly Ideas to Celebrate Thanksgiving
Many people celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, offering a rare opportunity for some to reconnect with busy relatives. Here are some pocket-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday and add fun to your day:
Create DIY Accessories
You can print some designs for DIY and customized Thanksgiving decorations around your home. In addition, you can print out some worksheets or color pages to keep kids busy as you prepare the meals and house for the guests.
Host a Potluck Meal
This way of entertaining lets you share the cooking chores with your guests by asking them to contribute something to the menu. You can then provide the rest of the food more economically and save time, too.
Enjoy Games and Entertainment
Besides eating together, you can play family-friendly sports and games such as backyard football, Monopoly, or cards during the holiday. You can view a professional or college football game or watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, broadcast from New York City on TV.
You can spend the day assisting religious institutions, local shelters, or soup kitchens in your area. If you lack time to volunteer, you can donate canned goods or clothes to your local shelter ahead of time.
What to Like About Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day presents a chance to spend time and create memorable moments with your dear ones. And there's a lot more to love about this holiday. Thanksgiving Day provides several offers to ease the burden on your wallet. Some advantages you can enjoy in days leading up to the day or on the actual holiday include:
- Special Thanksgiving food deals
- Available ingredients you can buy cheaply weeks in advance
- Virtual celebrations with distant loved ones
- Lower airline prices when traveling on Thanksgiving Day
History of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving began in 1621, when the Plymouth colonists held an autumn feast to celebrate the first harvest in the new colony, inviting the Wampanoag tribe to join them.
New York became the first among several states in 1817 to adopt Thanksgiving officially as an annual holiday. Every state celebrated it on a different day although the American South stayed largely unfamiliar with the tradition. Sarah Josepha Hale, prolific author of the "Mary Had a Little Lamb" nursery rhyme, began a campaign in 1827 to establish the celebration as a national holiday.
Her campaign lasted 36 years until President Abraham Lincoln heeded her request in 1863, giving her the nickname "Mother of Thanksgiving." Lincoln scheduled the holiday for the final Thursday in November, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing a bill in 1941 to mark its celebration every fourth Thursday in November.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there a Thanksgiving Day?
A: Yes, there is. Americans mark Thanksgiving Day annually in late November.
Q: Why is Thanksgiving Day celebrated?
A: People celebrate Thanksgiving Day to express gratitude for blessings received in the past year and the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.
Q: Which day is Thanksgiving Day celebrated?
A: Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November, with this year's celebration scheduled for Nov. 24.