A Look Back at Thanksgiving in the 1950s

Thanksgiving pumpkins
Via Pixabay

Thanksgiving Then and Now

Many Thanksgiving traditions are the same in 2022 as they were in the 1950s. It was, however, a much different time. A day of thanks meant something different to those who lived through WW II and Korea. America was moving out of the shadow of World War 2 while facing off against a new threat.

At the same time, new inventions and an improving economy made life more comfortable for the average suburban family. In the 1950s, there were no Black Friday deals. The stores were closed and families enjoyed each other.

Families were thankful for what they had because war had made us far too familiar with loss. In a way, this was similar to those of us today that developed a greater appreciation for life from living through a pandemic. Much like today, thanksgiving traditions of the 1950s revolved around family and food. While much has changed, the heart of Thanksgiving has not. Whether in 2022 or 1952, this day has always been about sharing appreciation and good times with those we care about. There were, of course, some differences in 1950s Thanksgiving.

What Was Different in The 1950s?

The ’50s ushered in life-changing innovations like the first frozen turkey on the market, making dinner prep much easier for the holidays. One thing that stands as a striking difference compared to today is that families would gather for the parade before beginning meal prep, and once dinner was ready, everyone sat at the table. It is much more common now for families to eat in the living room in front of the TV.

In the 1950s, people took Thanksgiving seriously. You wouldn’t find anyone sitting on the couch in sweatpants back then. People typically dressed well for the holiday and sat together in celebration of all that they had. As the country has been through so much in the last couple of years, maybe it’s a good time to remember the old traditions. During the holiday season and beyond, let’s take some time to appreciate the life we have.

At The Greatest Generation, we love to look back. There is a lot to learn from the past. Of course, life has been different for most of us since Covid-19. It seemed, at times, like the holidays would never be the same. As much as things change, the things that bring us together never will. Remember what’s important, and enjoy the holidays!

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