After eating more in a single sitting than you normally do in an entire day, it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving festivities tend to move from the dining room to the TV room. Comfy on the couch, remote in hand, loved ones all around; it’s a tradition almost as constant as the turkey.
When my family manages to wrangle all seven members into a single location, we have a standard roster of movies and TV shows we go through: Orange County, Big Trouble, Keeping Up Appearances, and some other niche British TV shows and straight-to-DVD movies from the early 2000s.
If you’re looking for even more inspiration, you’re in the right place. Below are Team Well+Good’s favorite tryptophan-addled–viewing traditions to keep family relationships healthy. (And yes, Elf makes several appearances!)
“My family has this unofficial tradition of watching all three Godfather movies throughout Thanksgiving Day. I think it started because one of the movies was always on TV…and once you watch one, you have to finish the whole trilogy. Now it’s become kind of a thing to look forward to each year. Guess it has to do with the idea of the importance of family!”
—Celine Cortes, audience development associate
“It’s all about football for our family on Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, we always had dinner early so that we could watch the Cowboys at 3 p.m. I wish I could get the whole crew to watch old 30 Rock episodes. But the closest I can get is probably Friday Night Lights.”
—Erin Hanafy, executive editor
“I always put on my eating pants, scarf down a turkey dinner, and then watch all of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes back-to-back. I always let myself indulge in a little extra wine and dessert when Brad Pitt comes to dinner.”
—Ali Finney, senior editor, beauty
“Typically, what I watch post-Thanksgiving is The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. After Thanksgiving, I’m ready to get into the festive holiday mood and welcome Christmas, and The Holiday is on constant repeat in my house leading up to December 25. It’s such a feel-good film, and as all Nancy Meyers films are, complete eye-candy. It makes me feel all the cozy, holiday vibes. I always dream of bundling up fireside with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book in Iris’ English countryside home.”
— Kristina Samulewski, executive assistant
“My family always watches Elf post-Thanksgiving! It never gets old, and everyone loves it!”
—Mercey Livingston, editorial assistant
“We tend to start watching Christmas movies right after dinner. The watch list usually looks like this: Home Alone (1 or 2 or both!), Elf, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and sometimes we throw in some James Bond movies (which aren’t holiday-related at all, we just like James Bond).”
—Josie Fox, audience development manager
“Many families watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or root for their home football team on Thanksgiving—but in my house, it’s all about the National Dog Show. Will the affenpinscher win the top spot, or will the beagle steal the show? The anticipation is killing me! I kid (slightly), but there’s seriously nothing better than watching adorable puppers while you digest your turkey.”
—Abbey Stone, senior editor
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