Survey: Moms peg family time as top Thanksgiving priority

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 59 views 

Turkey Day traditions run deep within family tapestries and though it’s historically a day of big family meals, football and afternoon naps, shopping in recent years has become a must-do activity by a majority of moms, according to research survey by Fayetteville-based Field Agent.

It is the season for door buster sales and retailers are aggressively wooing bargain hunters with pre-Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Day. Field Agent said 68% of moms surveyed said shopping was a Thanksgiving activity for their family. The average household will spend $302 shopping Thanksgiving Day, including online and in-store, according to Field Agent.

While shopping is high on the list, nothing trumps family time for the 250 moms in the survey. Roughly nine out 10 respondents said time with family is their top priority this Thanksgiving Day.

It’s also a time of travel as an estimated 39 million people will need to travel this year to spend time with family.

Brianna Manning of Springdale is planning a trip to southern California to see her ailing grandfather. It’s been three years since her last visit with her family there. She is taking a week to make the drive out there because family time is important no matter what day it is.

While most employers close on Thanksgiving, more retailers, logistics and service companies are open. Niski Paredes, a homemaker in East Texas, said her husband and son are slated to work Thanksgiving Day at Georgia Pacific and Wal-Mart, respectively. Her two daughters, both healthcare professionals, are also working that day taking care of others.

“It seems like the country just rolls on by as Thanksgiving isn’t anything anymore. When I was a child it was huge to me and my family,” Paredes said.

She said her faith in God, family and pets, and counting her blessings remain her top priorities for Thanksgiving Day.

Nicky Dou of Bentonville said Thanksgiving is a day for family, food and rest, in that order. She and husband Jerry and their daughter Madison plan to spend the day close to home.

“It’s the first time in seven years that we haven’t been in Mexico over the Thanksgiving holiday. We will be spending the day at home with my parents and family this year,” Dou said.

Selena Dalrymple, a postal worker in Texas, has just one priority this Thanksgiving and that is spending time with her family.

The Field Agent report reveals that watching football on Thanksgiving Day became a tradition in 1934 after the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears in a holiday game.

Some 80 years later there will be three NFL games aired on television and it’s week 14 of college football’s regular season. The Texas Longhorns will take on the Texas Christian University Horn Frogs in Austin at 6:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Texas A&M will take on LSU in College Station with a 7:30 p.m. kick-off time on Thanksgiving as well.

Field Agent found that 67% of families in the survey plan to watch football over the Thanksgiving Holiday, if not Thanksgiving Day then some other time during the weekend. Arkansas will travel to Missouri to take on the Tigers for a 2:30 p.m. kick-off on Black Friday. Seven more college games will be televised on Saturday, (Nov. 29).

For many households cooking is an important part of the Thanksgiving Day. Field Agent found that that 66% of families in the survey will sit down for an evening meal with family.

The respondents expect to spend an average of $54.18 on Thanksgiving Dinner this year. American’s are expected to spend $2.4 billion in aggregate on Thanksgiving food this holiday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About half of the respondents plan to have their special meal at lunch time and one in four said they prefer to prepare a special breakfast for the holiday which includes fried turkey. Turkey is the traditional centerpiece for holiday meal. The USDA estimates that 51 million turkeys will be consumed on Thanksgiving Day. 

Thanksgiving Day naps are also a common occurrence among 64% of households surveyed. Moms who often get up early to prepare the feast are ready for an afternoon siesta even if it’s just a short nap during the football game.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is also a popular attraction for families. It began in 1924 and is aired each year for millions on top of the 3.5 million New Yorkers who will watch the parade live in the heart of Manhattan. 

Field Agent found that 54% of moms surveyed say they will watch the event with their children this year – some in person and but most tuning into the television broadcast.

Decking the halls for Christmas is also a family tradition for 45% of the those surveyed. Another 37% said they plan to spend time outdoors, weather permitting. Volunteering is an important tradition for 4% of those surveyed. Field Agent said a few busy moms make it a point to have their families volunteer to serve food at local shelters or deliver meals to shut-ins.

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