INDIANAPOLIS — If you’re looking for last-minute Thanksgiving ideas, you’re not alone.
Google published the top Thanksgiving searches last week, showing that people are not only interested in remembering when Thanksgiving is (it’s this Thursday, by the way), but also in several how-to guides on how to do it to accompany great meals.
Answers to the big questions
According to Google Trends data, the top two questions asked about the timing of Thanksgiving over the past week. More specifically, when is Thanksgiving and how many days is it until Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving falls on the 4th Thursday of November every year. For 2022, this means it will be on November 24th. Time is running out to put your plans in order.
Families are also interested in when Thanksgiving is off. While this varies by school district, Indianapolis Public Schools will run November 24-26.
While this answers when Thanksgiving is, one of the most frequently asked questions is what Thanksgiving is. After all, the holiday predates the United States itself.
The 400-year-old story of the celebration between the Wampanoags and pilgrims on First Thanksgiving is often told in elementary school. Many students learn that Native Americans helped the pilgrims survive, taught them agricultural techniques and celebrated a big festival with them.
However, as the Associated Press reports, the prevailing version of the Thanksgiving story often skips an uncomfortable story.
While many people are searching and trying to figure out how to cook the best Thanksgiving meal, others are more interested in eating out. They want to know which restaurants are open on Thanksgiving.
We’ve got you covered for that. Check out our list of places to take your family for Thanksgiving or places to order food, turkey and pie.
OK Google, how does it work?
With the big questions out of the way, Google moved on to the top how-to questions of the week. While some of the questions were food-related, there were a few puzzles to get you thinking.
The food questions depend on where you are. The Google Trends report shows people are interested in how to make Thanksgiving stuffing and how to cook the turkey yourself.
Google has broken down the data by state to answer these questions. When it comes to stuffing, people are divided on what they use.
Some people prefer produce-based fillings, while other people like meat-based fillings. Much of the South prefers cornbread filling. There are also some very unique fillings scattered throughout, like Oklahoma residents who like red jello for their filling (don’t ask me, it’s what the data shows).
Indiana residents searched for cranberry filling. You can check what other regions have searched for below:
Turkey is the traditional main dish at Thanksgiving. After all, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans eat turkey for the holiday meal.
While a historian from Texas A&M University says the reasons Americans eat turkey have more to do with how Americans celebrated the holidays in the late 18th century.
Google Trends data shows that while there are a variety of ways people cook their turkey, there is one method that has been the most searched for over the past month.
People, even in Indiana, want to look for smoked turkey.
As of November 21, only South Carolina showed a strong interest in roast turkey, which could help firefighters breathe easier.
The National Fire Protection Association and the Consumer Product Safety Commission warn against using turkey fryers. While fried turkey may taste good, there are known dangers. Since 1998, the CPSC is aware of 222 incidents of fires or scalds/burns involving turkey fryers, resulting in 83 injuries and $9.7 million in property damage.
Aside from food, Google Trends data shows that people are interested in art. Top searches included how to draw a thanksgiving turkey (a fun art project you can do with your kids) and how to draw thanksgiving. The latter requires a little thought as it depends on what Thanksgiving means to the artist.
fill the table
Aside from the main course, Google followed trends on what people are most interested in to accompany them with their meal. While fillings topped search traffic, the data shows people are also historically interested in mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce.
People have also been looking for something celebratory to drink with their meals. Most drinks are alcoholic, but people also look for cider punch.
The data shows people are divided on what to end their Thanksgiving dinner with. Pumpkin pie is the most searched for pie, but other dishes, including cranberry pie, take some of the action.
No matter what people put on the table, it will cost more this year. The Associated Press reports that Americans are bracing for a costly Thanksgiving holiday this year, with double-digit percentage increases in the prices of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, canned pumpkin and other staples. The US government estimates that food prices will rise 9.5% to 10.5% this year; historically, they’ve only increased by 2% annually.
Lower production and higher labor, transportation and item costs are part of the reason; Illness, inclement weather and the war in Ukraine also contribute.
Modern Thanksgiving traditions
After the meal, people can choose to partake in some modern day Thanksgiving traditions. These include football, parades and Black Friday shopping.
This year’s NFL Thanksgiving Day matchups feature the Buffalo Bills versus the Detroit Lions, the New York Giants versus the Dallas Cowboys, and the New England Patriots versus the Minnesota Vikings.
There’s also the ever-popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year’s parade includes 16 giant balloons with characters, 28 floats, 40 inflatable novelties and traditions, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns, 10 performance groups and of course Santa Claus.
Thanksgiving dinner will add thousands of calories to people’s diets. Because of this, people are also interested in learning more about their local turkey trot. This annual 5K race is one way to burn off some of those calories.
Indiana residents seem most interested in seeing the parade. Below you can see what other parts of the country are interested in:
With the turkey put away and people’s minds on Christmas, the next logical step is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Google Trends data shows people’s interest increased over the month.
Industry groups forecast another record year for retail sales. The National Retail Federation is forecasting a 6% to 8% increase over the $890 billion consumers spent online and in stores in November and December 2021.
But Michigan State University researchers say the results of a new survey suggest people will spend less as a combination of rising consumer prices, rising borrowing costs and growing chances of a recession weigh on their wallets.
From meal prep to grocery shopping, it shows that a lot of thought goes into the holiday before you pile all that turkey onto your plate — and enjoy a few days full of leftovers.
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