Fewer guests, less traveling, and smaller turkeys — the theme of Thanksgiving in 2020 seems to be subtraction. We’re reducing how much we eat and how many people we see and for good reason! But it made us curious: how much is Thanksgiving going to shrink in 2020?

People enjoy an outdoor Thanksgiving meal with smaller portions and fewer guests.

Core Commissions wishes everyone a cozy and safe Thanksgiving this year, even if it may be a little reduced temporarily.

In years past, we devoured enormous turkeys and avoided awkward family moments. Let’s take a look back at how Thanksgiving went down in the before times:

Thanksgiving Stats Pre-2020

  • 12 Guests: the average size of a Thanksgiving gathering according to a report from Pew Research back in 2010 — though it’s unlikely that number has changed much in the last decade.
  • 40 million: number of turkeys consumed on Thanksgiving Day by all Americans. This stat comes from Bloomberg and seems to have dropped in recent years from 46 million.
  • 30 pounds: typical size of a turkey raised on the farm in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal. That translates to roughly 21 pounds of turkey on your table. Interestingly enough, this represents an 81% increase in the average turkey size from 1960, when turkeys generally weighed just under 17 pounds.
  • 100,000-plus: the number of calls that Butterball fields every November and December. (This stat has us picturing a number of chefs up to their elbows in turkey cradling a phone with their shoulder to confirm oven temperatures and cooking times.)
  • 55 million: the number of people who traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2019, per AAA. That’s both people who drove more than fifty miles as well as those who boarded airplanes.
  • $48.90: the average cost of a Thanksgiving Day meal for a group of ten guests in 2019, according to the Statista Research Department. This includes turkey, green beans casserole, and those sweet potatoes you like with the marshmallows.
  • 3,000 to 4,500: how many calories are usually found in a Thanksgiving Day meal, according to WalletHub. In total, America consumed 8.1 billion calories on this day in previous years. It would take more than ten hours of exercise to work off that meal.
  • 2.65 miles: the length of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route which ended in front of the Macy’s store in New York City.
  • 165 million: the number of people who went shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in 2018.
A large turkey, a popular Thanksgiving Day meal, stands in a field.

The Updates for 2020:

Gatherings will host fewer guests this year. With restrictions in place as well as guidance from the CDC about keeping Thanksgiving down to as few guests as possible and avoiding travel, the Thanksgiving numbers look a little smaller this year.

Turkeys shrank this year. Given that fewer people will be at the table, chefs may prefer a turkey around ten or 12 pounds, about a 45% to 50% decrease over previous years. Other parties might completely replace turkey with ham, chicken, or maybe even a little cornish game hen for each diner. Though some recommend sticking with that larger bird and just enjoying leftovers for an extended period since, you know, you’re probably not going to be dining out for a while.

Something that may not change is the number of phone calls Butterball gets this year. So many new chefs will be preparing turkey for their families at home, they may need someone to walk them through the steps.

In the good news arena, the price of a large meal dropped a bit to $46.90 — a 4% reduction if you were to serve a meal for ten or more people. Additionally, smaller meals mean fewer calories to work off. We can also guarantee you’ll have at least 90% fewer awkward conversations with distant relatives.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been slimmed down, just marching along the block in front of the flagship store. And with many retail outlets shutting down, we can expect that Black Friday will be a lot less crowded — and probably more about online shopping deals that you can access from your couch.

A minimized holiday has both benefits and drawbacks, certainly. But we can still enjoy a few days off, a good meal, and plan to cook the biggest turkey ever for a huge group of guests next year.

After the holiday ends, consider other ways to increase your free time: automate your sales commission process. Drop us a line or book a post-Thanksgiving demo and we’ll show you how we can save you time, money, and frustration — you’ll be thankful for that come Thanksgiving 2021.