Thanksgiving Traditions

Tired of the same-old-dry-turkey-soggy-stuffing/too-much-football-you-don’t-give-a-rat’s-behind-about?

Some Bay Area residents do Thanksgiving a little differently.

Forty years ago, Danville dad, Kevin’s, grandfather was so sick of sitting around the house on Thanksgiving, watching football, that he started taking the whole family to the horse races at Golden Gate Fields. Says Kevin, “My whole family goes, and we sit inside, so it is nice and warm. We have lots of time to hang out, catch up, and bet on the races.” Kevin’s oldest daughter even wakes up, exclaiming, “I get to go see the horses!” The family’s tradition is such a long-standing one, that every Thanksgiving, one of the races is dedicated to them, and they’re even allowed access to the paddock after the race.

Clayton resident, Rhonda, decided to shake it up one year and nixed the turkey. “We had Won Tons and it was the best!”

San Francisco dad, David, serves fried turkey and Chinese food for Thanksgiving. “Doug Keane actually aped a bunch of my family’s recipes a few years ago.” Check it out and be the judge, or better yet, steal a few ideas for yourself.

Oakland mom, Shelly, has spent years past celebrating in completely different way, by joining other Native Americans on Alcatrazisland. “Watching the sunrise on Alcatraz while being surrounded by other Native people is emotional for me. It’s hard not to be moved by the prayers and dancing and stories about the real thanksgiving.”

Whatever your faith, gastronomic inclinations, or interests, gather together, give thanks and make it a Thanksgiving tradition.

Horse Racing Photo courtesy of Melissa Larson
Native People’s Celebration Photo courtesy of the International Indian Treaty Council

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