Thanksgiving will mean something different for all of us this year. As COVID cases increase throughout the country, traditional family gatherings this Thursday are much more likely to happen on Zoom than in person. If you love your family, just be safe. TV is here to help keep you grounded.
Our family Thanksgiving television routine doesn't vary much from year to year. This holiday is all about family, football and food. The TV is turned on early and remains on after the festive meal. Feel free to follow along with our schedule at home...
9am Thanksgiving Day Parade (NBC)
Remote Controller - My wife and kids
I was not a huge fan of this growing up, but my wife and daughters gave me an appreciation for this event. Debbie grew up watching the parade with her family in the morning, and Rachel and Emily have loved it since they started watching TV.
My father-in-law and I once took my daughters and niece to see the giant balloons and floats for ourselves. I was awestruck, and I wasn't even a kid. That trip to the city will always hold a special place in my heart.
Sure the performances are cheesy and we end up judging which new pop act did the best job lip synching on a float. Once I was able to laugh at the parade, I was able to enjoy it. Quality early-morning family time.
12pm National Dog Show (NBC)
Remote Controller - My dog
This is another one I've come full circle on. Our dog Molly (@mollyheinthepup on Instagram) is a full fledged member of the family and chooses the next program to watch.
I'm thinking Best In Show as we watch the different classes of dogs get escorted around the ring by owners who often resemble their pooches. We selfishly pay close attention to the Toy Group.
The dogs are adorable, and John O'Hurley does a great job covering all the action as only J Peterman can. Another bonding moment in the Hein home.
1pm 1st NFL Game featuring Detroit (NBC)
Remote Controller - Yours Truly
Are you ready for some football? Time for Lions vs. Texans and some mini hot dogs! As boring as the annual Detroit game always is, my wife's mini hot dogs more than make up for it.
430pm 2nd NFL Game featuring Dallas (FOX)
Remote Controller - Still me...sort of
Dallas versus Washington a great rivalry, but these teams stink this year. That's okay because I'm busy carving up a turkey, so the channel has been known to change from time to time.
Full confession – I only eat turkey and corn bread on Thanksgiving. No interest in all the other stuff. Thankfully my daughters are more adventurous eaters.
6pm A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving AppleTV + & PBS
Remote Controller - Family
If you've got AppleTV+ or PBS, Snoopy will show you how to get your popcorn ready. The Washington/Dallas game will be over by halftime. This Peanuts classic puts a smile on everyone's face. Plus it's time to eat.
820pm 3rd NFL Game - Steelers vs. Ravens (NBC)
Remote Controller - Me
I grew up in Mount Lebanon in the late 70's rooting for my home team - the Pittsburgh Steelers. There's no better way to work off that big meal than to plant myself on the couch for a hard hitting game against the Steelers arch rival. UPDATE: No game, thanks COVID!
Everyone gets their turn at the remote as we get the most out of our TV on Thanksgiving Day. Even during this awful pandemic, some traditions can still be carried out courtesy of your living room screen.