Destination America: Family more important than shopping on Thanksgiving

Destination America, the first television network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States, looks into the traditions, behaviors and attitudes of Americans regarding Thanksgiving Day.

Celebrating America is what Destination America does best, and this holiday season the network has looked deeper into the hearts of Americans when it comes to a Happy Thanksgiving in their homes.

Between October 25 and October 27, Destination America commissioned Nielsen Entertainment, a division of Nielsen (www.nielsen.com), to survey a nationally representative sample of 700 U.S. adults about the topic of Thanksgiving. The online survey included questions about behaviors, traditions and attitudes surrounding the holiday.

According to the study results, even in this tough economy, only 19% are cutting back on grocery spending for their special dinner, which will overwhelmingly feature a roasted turkey (88%); a small but growing number (9%) prefer smoked or deep-fried turkey preparation.* When it comes to food prep, men and women disagree on the level of participation in the kitchen with 74% of men (25-54) claiming to assist in cooking the meal, while just 46% of women saying the same of the men in their households.

When asked who they’d prefer at their dinner table for Thanksgiving, President Obama didn’t fare as well as he did in the election. As a write-in option in the on-line survey, just 5% were interested in sharing their turkey with the commander- in-chief. Both Tim Tebow and Big Bird were selected by 23% of Americans as preferred Thanksgiving dinner guests. And yet another celebrity beating out the president was Lady Gaga with 15%.

Speaking of Football ...

Not surprisingly, men 25-54 (64% vs. 31% W25-54) were most likely to say they looked forward to Thanksgiving Day football, while women 25-54 (43% vs. 20% M25-54) preferred the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And sorry George Bailey and Spot, but only 6% of all respondents looked forward to gearing up for the holidays by watching Clarence get his wings on It’s a Wonderful Life, while the dogs are ousted to the kennel with just 2% of all respondents favoring the National Dog Show.

Thanks, Grandma, for the Stuffing!

More than half of those polled (56% P25-54) claim that their stuffing recipe was handed down from previous generations. Among P25-54, recipes for both pies/desserts (51%) and turkey (52%) were also popular among those passed down within families.* A multitude of Americans (44%) crowned pumpkin as their favorite holiday pie. The perennial favorite was the top choice across gender and age breaks, and was chosen by more than double those who picked apple (21%). Pecan pie (13%) and sweet potato pie (12%) were distant favorites.

Black Friday Deals or More Turkey?

This year, there has been much discussion about the early start to holiday shopping, even before the first turkey sandwich has been made. But, when it comes to taking advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, more than one-third (36%) of Americans say they do not holiday shop on either day. However, 29% of respondents said that they make the most of Black Friday deals, shopping for both holiday gifts and also to seek out deals on items for themselves.

Family Highlights the Day

We can agree on something -- family first! When asked about their “ideal” Thanksgiving, most Americans say it’d be “having all of your loved ones under one roof.” A solid 68% of Americans claimed that “being with my family” was the best part of the November holiday; “all of the food” was a close contender with support from 53%; spending time with friends came in third with 22%.*

Happy Thanksgiving from Destination America and Huliq!

Image: Destination America

*Percentages are high due to the multi-select question