DETROIT (WWJ) – Thanksgiving means different things to different people. For some it’s all about the parade. For others, it’s a chance to see family and friends. For a few, it’s become about the sales and strategizing on how to hit the best ones.

But for many it’s about giving thanks, and more than two in five Americans (43%) say they have about as much to be thankful for as a few years ago, while 38% say they have more to be thankful for than a few years ago. Just over one in ten U.S. adults (14%) say they have less to be thankful for than a few years ago.

The results are part of a recent Harris Poll to find out what Americans are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Looking at some specific items, Americans have a lot to be thankful for. Over three-quarters of those surveyed are thankful because of the health of their family (85%), because of their family relationships (84%) and because technology makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends (76%).

While three in five Americans (62%) are thankful for their own personal economic situation, this is down from 66% in 2010. Three in five U.S. adults (60%) are thankful for their work situation, compared to 65% who said this in 2010.

What Americans are not thankful for is the economic situation of the United States, as 62% say they are not thankful for this while 17% are thankful. In 1984, 78% were thankful for the economic situation of the U.S. and in 1988 59% were thankful; in 2010 that number was 23%.

The Turkey!

And, for many Americans, Thanksgiving is all about the food. When asked which of these traditional food dishes people look forward to the most, two in five U.S. adults (40%) say it’s the turkey while one in five (21%) look forward to the stuffing. Smaller numbers look forward to pumpkin pie (13%), potatoes whether mashed (9%) or sweet (7%) and the cranberry sauce, jelly or relish (4%). Men are more likely than women to look forward to the turkey (46% vs. 35%), while women are more likely to look forward to the pumpkin pie (14% vs. 10%).

While cooking there are always the grumblings about “wouldn’t it be easier to just go out for dinner?” The truth is that over three-quarters of Americans (78%) disagree with that and say they would rather eat in a restaurant than cook Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe it’s because of the leftovers, as nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults (65%) agree that even more important than Thanksgiving dinner is eating the leftovers.

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 16 to 21, 2013 among 2,368 adults (aged 18 and over).


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