Tradition = lame.
1. Add presents for kids and/or alcohol for adults (note: don't give alcohol to children):
What makes a holiday worthwhile for kids? It's the presents, stupid. Whether it's candy or a new Transformer, kids will only care about a holiday if they get something out of it. I'm not calling kids materialistic, they're just spoiled brats. I'm not against kids, I love kids. Just imagine yourself when you were a kid, you were probably the biggest brat you knew. No kid gets excited about having dinner with extended family, it's just an aunt and uncle expansion pack to their normal, everyday dinner.
Adults on the other hand don't appreciate gifts as much. All they want is to get drunk as hell. From now on, after dinner there should be family-wide beer bong contest. Or, after cleaning off that table that somehow fit twenty members of your family, set up for beer pong. Make it festive and make the cups into turkey shapes (I can't for the life of me think of any other symbol for Thanksgiving). Maybe once your Aunt Margret gets drunk and tells you about the old days when black people stayed in their own part of town, the party will finally be fun. Halloween has spiked punch, Christmas has eggnog and Jagermeister, so it's about time Thanksgiving had it's own tradition.
It tastes festive, it looks festive, it has a reindeer on it. Good enough for me.
2. Liven up the parades:
Unless you are bored waiting for food or football, there is no reason to be watching the Thanksgivings Day parade. No kid likes Shrek enough to want to see a balloon of him go down a New York City street, almost taking out street lamps along the way. It's the same crap every year.
They need to find a way to make the parade radder. Get rid of the marching bands and musical numbers, make cooler floats, or add more fire. Really, there are so many ways to make people walking down a street more exciting. The floats are nothing more than Disney commercials on wheels anymore. Make floats battle like they're out of the movie Road Warrior, that would be cool. If not that, than at least speed it up. If the Mummers can't keep up than they should be run off the road. Anyone that dresses up like that deserves a beat down.
If a kid is watching he is waiting for one thing: Santa Clause. Santa is always at the end of the parade, so seeing him both signals the start of the Christmas season and the end of the parade (which is reason to celebrate enough). That's all the kid wants to see, his jolly, chubby, red-suited hero. So i demand that every five minutes of parade there should be someone dressed like Santa. In fact, every person holding the balloon in order to stop it from flying away or being taken by Batman should be dressed like Santa.
It's Santa, we can go home now.3. Change up the food:
I'm sorry to break it to you but, according to Wikipedia, turkey was not a big part of the original Thanksgiving. There was also no mashed potatoes (my favorite part of the feast) and sure as hell no jellied cranberry sauce. So any ideas of food traditions are off. With that being said, let's spice it up. Thanksgiving tacos would be a good start. Or how about pizza, everyone loves pizza. And just like turkey, pizza is still good as leftovers. It's the perfect food. Or, if you want, make it a real first Thanksgiving. Clams, lobster, eels (pass the eel, please), or beetroot should all be on the menu if you want to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving. The point is, there is no set foods to eat on Thanksgiving, it's whatever you want to eat, even if it's sushi. Don't feel tied up by false traditions. Especially if that tradition demands jellied fruit out of a can.
4. Make it less about family:
Nobody likes their family. Nobody wants to be stuck with their family for a whole afternoon. The thing about being with our extended family is, it's a lot of work. We don't get to act like ourselves under the eye of our aunts and uncles, only putting on our best in case we're under scrutiny. It's not fun pretending to like your cousins for a few hours, the pretense is exhausting. And if you're the kind of person that has "My friends are the only family I need, they are my blood," written on some long forgotten instant messaging profile somewhere I have three words for you: get over yourself. Your family are your family, your friends are your friends. It's nice having Thanksgiving dinner with our friends, it might be more pleasant than being with your parents, but don't group your friends as family. No friend, no matter how horrible they are, deserves that insult.
No teenager wants to wear matching colors with their family.
5. Name it Black Friday Eve:
This one's easy and sounds like something Jay Leno would say when trying to warm his audience up. But it's true. You may be helping yourself to your second helping of corn, but in your mind all you're thinking about is when you should set up camp outside Best Buy. Let's face it, a large group of people are more concerned about saving money at Sears than enjoying quality time with people you're only forced to see once a year. Americans are ugly, materialistic people. So we should have a holiday, aside from Valentines day, to celebrate that. So lets make body-checking the mom next to you for the last Cabbage Patch Doll into a true tradition.