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Thanksgiving Dinner | © Stacy/Flickr
Thanksgiving Dinner | © Stacy/Flickr
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How Texans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Picture of Aubrey Cofield
Updated: 11 November 2016
Thanksgiving is an American holiday often celebrated around a table with family, friends, and a large turkey. While there are many Thanksgiving traditions, Texans hold their own unique rituals for celebrating the holiday, where it is all about the food, family, and football.

The very first Thanksgiving involving Native Americans and the early settlers is, in reality, a doleful story resulting in multiple massacres. This truth, however, is now a lesson helping to grow the meaning of Thanksgiving traditions. It is a way to gather with those you care for and give thanks.

Texans love all the traditional Thanksgiving food, but there are a few staples for a proper Texas Thanksgiving. First, the turkey is cooked in one of two ways: deep-fried or Beer Can Turkey, with the latter being more likely. Beer Can Turkey is made just how it sounds. You place a beer on a beer-can turkey stand and then the turkey over the stand; they both then go on the grill where the magic happens. There is something about the beer that keeps the bird tender and juicy. Second, stuffing is only made with cornbread, and Southwestern cornbread stuffing is delicious with chilies and red peppers. Also, there is always a green bean casserole topped with crispy fried onions.

As for the sweet ending, in Texas, pecans are so plentiful that you might have some growing in your backyard or find hundreds scattered throughout the community park, and for this reason, you can count on a delicious pecan pie for dessert. And you just might want to top it off with some vanilla ice cream. For drinks, you can expect sweet tea and beer, naturally.

While the food plays a significant role, family is the most important piece to a Texas Thanksgiving. Whether your family is big or small, you all get together; it does not matter how much space you have. You will likely gossip and talk about sports or politics, and if there is tension, so what – that is what family is all about. You do not dress up, and everyone takes home leftovers.

Last but not least, Texans obsess over afternoon football. Either before or after the Thanksgiving feast, the entire family sits down to watch the Dallas Cowboys play the Washington Redskins. The tradition of football on Thanksgiving started in the late 1800s and is well and strong in Texas. The odds of an NFL live stream playing in the background throughout the duration of the holiday, even through dinner, remain very high.

Dallas Cowboys © Scott Ellis/Flickr
Dallas Cowboys | © Scott Ellis/Flickr