Thanksgiving Happiness Survey Surprises

by Pamela Gail Johnson on November 25, 2013

Secret Society of Happy People Thankful Project

It was no surprise that the number one Thanksgiving Happiness vote getter, winning 88% of the votes, was “Spending Time with Family” in our What Makes You Happy about Thanksgiving survey.  Happy people know that relationships and common experiences are the core of a mostly happy life.

Not surprising, food came in the strong second with 72% of the votes, because everyone knows we’re thankful that the food on Thanksgiving is calorie-free. Finally, cooking and spending time with friends were almost a tie with 48% and 46% of the votes.

I love write-ins. Some favorites for 2013 included:

  • Every day is Thanksgiving.    
  • Extra sleep.
  • Just the feel of the day.
  • It’s not a commercialized holiday.
  • Being able to see, hear and smell the thankfulness around me.

If I had to summarize, I’d say, creating happy moments with the people we love is what we want to do on Thanksgiving.

Food wise you’re happy with everything traditional, turkey, dressing or stuffing, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce. But if you picked just one thing it would be the dressing (or stuffing) with 18% of the votes.

Now for the three surprises.

Surprise One: More than 56% of you responded, “No, you couldn’t pay me to shop” when asked, “Will you shop for Black Friday sales?” Only 8% of you responded that the hustle and bustle of the stores is part of your tradition.

It’s not that I expected everyone to be shoppers, but when you listen to the news and commercials, it feels like everyone is a Black Friday shopper. I did expect more people would have at least responded with “depends on the deals,” or “online in my comfy clothes.”

But in hindsight I shouldn’t have been surprised. Apparently, most of you recognize that happiness is about creating memories and shopping isn’t that memorable for most of you.

Surprise Two: Only 4.8% of your said you were going to a Thanksgiving Day movie and only 10% said you were going to a movie that weekend.

Since Thanksgiving weekend is one of the biggest movie weekends of the year, I figured more of you would be at the movies with family, friends and popcorn.

Surprise Three: Only 30% of you will be traveling this Thanksgiving. Based on the travel stories you see, you think everyone travels during this four day weekend. So it’s nice to know that most of you must live close to your families.

Click here to see the complete results or click here to read the press release.

I’m so happy that you’ll be spending time with those that you love. It’s a time to share your gratitude and experience common happy moments that you’ll remember for years to come. These experiences create nostalgia – one of our 31 Types of Happiness.

If you’re looking for some dinner conversation trivia here are some fun Thanksgiving facts:

  • 736 million pounds of turkey are served.
  • U.S. farmers produce 768 million pounds of cranberries.
  • 47 million Americans travel 50 or more miles from home to celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 that declared Thanksgiving would be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
  • Three towns have names starting with the word turkey – Turkey, Texas; Turkey Creek, Louisiana; and Turkey, North Carolina.
  • The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924.

 What’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

Previous post:

Next post: