1950 Christmas dinner - sm - © retro annon. - via Pintrest

Turkey Day Poll: Exposée Of American Attitudes

We’ve been presenting posts focusing on specific Thanksgiving-related themes over the past week. But today I couldn’t resist sharing what I consider the shocking revelations of the original Instacart Turkey Day Poll, back in 2019…

Classic Turkey Feast - © unknown (Vintage)An old fashioned Turkey Fast with the whole family in attendance: Like it was when I
was the same age as the little girl (front, centre) in the red jumper and white blouse…

Feelings run high

Who knew feelings about Thanksgiving run so high – and so hot?

As for all of you out there who are already complaining that a 2019 poll is way out of date – especially given that the COVID Era came between then and now – I maintain that the socio-generational findings from 2019 are not the least bit stale. Americans are noted for making up their minds and sticking to it!


I will cop to a minor journalistic crime right off the top, here: I’m plucking a lot of this material wholes-bloas from the 2019 Poll results. But I am giving ample credit and recognition to the folks who are responsible for the info. I wish to thank Instacart and The Harris Poll for the generation and publication of these gems!

How Americans feel about Turkey

Is Turkey an absolute necessity?

Many Millennials are introducing alternatives when hosting Thanksgiving.

  • 42 percent of Millennials who have hosted have served something other than turkey.

What options are people choosing?

  • After turkey, A Pork Loin Roast is the second most ordered protein on Instacart ahead of Thanksgiving

My take:

I can’t Imagine not observing Thanksgiving – Canadian or American – without a Roast Turkey. But I’ll admit that, after my Mom is gone, I will be sorely tempted to sample some of the many elegant alternatives the top food authorities suggest…

While some jump at the chance to host (and control the menu)…

Others would go to great lengths to avoid it altogether.

It seemed like a good idea at first…

  • 80 percent of adults in the U.S. have hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, and among those who have,
  • 21 percent admit that they have pretended to enjoy it.
  • 17 percent of those who have hosted say they have regretted offering to host.

What did you forget this time? Of those who have hosted:

  • 74 percent needed to go to back the grocery store two or more times to get all of the necessary ingredients.

I like what I like…

  • 59 percent of Americans say they would prefer to host Thanksgiving dinner so they can make the dishes they like.

My Take:

I’m solidly in the ‘I like what I like’ camp. Being a professional cook and sometime caterer, I have a thing about Holiday Feast Day meals: I want to be in charge for purely selfish reasons. I want to choose the menu, and I want all the dishes to turn out the way I prefer them.

And by that, I mean the way my mother and grandmothers taught me to make them. I suspect the 41 percent of folks who’ve hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner – and didn’t regret it or pretend to enjoy doing it – are with me on that.

Certain people would be willing to make some big sacrifices to avoid hosting:

The Harris Poll asked, would you rather…

Give up sex or host?

  • 40 percent of Millennials (ages 23–38) would rather give up sex for a month than be responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Give up football or host?

  • 42 percent of men would rather give up watching football for a month than be responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Give up your phone or host?

  • 29 percent of Americans (and 39 percent of Millennials) would rather give up their phone for a month than be responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

My Take:

That’s an awful lot of folks willing to give up an awful lot to avoid hosting Thanksgiving Dinner! But  the latest poll shows 85 percent of Americans will sit down to a family dinner this Thanksgiving.

Nevertheless… The 2019 Poll revealed that 68 percent of Americans secretly dislike a classic Thanksgiving food but eat it anyway because of tradition!

The beverage equation…

Two out of three Americans hit the booze

  • 65 percent of Americans aged 21+ drink alcohol on Thanksgiving
  • 75 percent drink wine.

Of those who reported drinking on the holiday:

  • 47 percent drink red wine
  • 39 percent drink white wine
  • 20 percent drink sparkling wine
  • 17 percent drink rose
  • 7 percent drink orange wine
  • 19 percent of Millennials admit that they have been too hungover on Thanksgiving to eat and / or drink.

My Take:

Yikes! I recently posted a piece postulating that, for Millennials, eating is no longer about the food. It’s about making a necessary part of their day as fast and convenient as possible. Allow me to supplement that statement: Holidays may, for Millennials, now simply be an excuse to get hammered.

And, wait a minute – Where does that Orange Wine come from? Are these folks Californians? Floridians? Martians?

Above all…

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner. And, more to the point – enjoy being among friends and family. There are few enough occasions, in our modern time, when we can all be together…

~ Maggie J.