Need some Thanksgiving conversation starters? Here are 7 fun holiday facts


While this parade photo is from the 1940s, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving parade took place in 1924.

When you’re gathered around the Thanksgiving table, and you’re looking for something to talk about that isn’t politics, religion or the weather, here are seven go-to holiday-related facts sourced from WalletHub that may possibly spur some lively banter.

  • The average host spends $392 on Thanksgiving dinner, including food, drinks and home décor.
  • More than half of Americans (64%) would like an alternative to turkey on their holiday table and 26% would like to see a few new side dishes as well.
  • Among those hosting the Thanksgiving feast, 54% say they are somewhat stressed in the lead up to the holiday.
  • The number of people who shopped over the long Thanksgiving weekend in 2021, including Black Friday, was 180 million.
  • In 2021, consumers spent $5.1 billion while shopping online on Thanksgiving Day.
  • What are people most thankful for? Family leads the list at 84%, followed by health (69%), friends and memories (63% each), and personal freedom (53%). Wealth was at the bottom of the list at just 21%.
  • The first Macy’s parade took place in 1924 and was called the Macy’s Christmas Day Parade even though it was held on Thanksgiving. This year, more than 8,000 people will participate in the event in New York.

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I’m Joanne Friedrick, research editor for the Home Furnishings Division. I began my career as a newspaper editor and then became a trade journalist, covering myriad industries including pension funds, supermarkets, gourmet food and security systems, just to name a few. Most recently, I entered the home furnishings category as a contributor for HFN and Home Textiles Today before transitioning into research where I now get to tell the stories behind the numbers for all of the HFD titles.


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