Data from a new survey by Los Angeles–based Mrs. Cubbison’s Kitchen found that when asked “to whom or what will you be giving thanks for this year?,” a majority of Americans responded that they will be giving thanks for family, followed by health, God, and friends.
This sentiment has not changed much in the 223 years since George Washington expressed these feelings when, as our country’s first president, he introduced a Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.
The nationwide survey, which can be viewed at www.ThanksgivingTips.com, uncovers the latest data on similarities and differences on how Thanksgiving is celebrated across the country.
Over 80 percent of people surveyed said Thanksgiving is the most important non-religious holiday of the year. While most people said they spend Thanksgiving with direct and extended family members, people in the West are more likely to share the holiday with friends than people in other parts of the country.
Turkey is still the top menu must-have, with stuffing coming in a close second, according to the press release announcing the results of the survey.
Mashed potatoes, pie and yams/sweet potatoes round out the top five favorite menu items.
The survey also found that one in five families now take special diets into consideration when preparing their Thanksgiving menu; people in the West prepare vegetarian and gluten-free choices while the South and Midwest offer items for those who are diabetic. The Northeast and South are also trending towards lactose-free and kosher menu offerings.
It seems Moms still do most of the cooking and worry most about getting everything to the table at the same time and still warm. Dads, according to the survey, worry about the turkey being too dry.
Eighty-eight percent of the people surveyed confessed to sneaking into the kitchen to sample the food before it is served.
And the number one activity besides eating on Thanksgiving? Watching football, according to 60 percent of the people surveyed.