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American Thanksgiving refers to the American holiday that takes place every fourth Thursday of November. This holiday is incredibly noteworthy in American culture, and involves a large, home-cooked feast of foods traditionally associated with Thanksgiving eaten with relatives and friends. Other traditions came about, such as watching football, different parades (most notably the Macy's parade in New York City), and charity work.

Because of the highly established traditions, Thanksgiving has a certain set of expected visuals, including decorations put out by retailers, expected foods to eat, and associations with Autumn.


The origin of the holiday is the Plymouth Colony learning how to catch eels and grow corn, as well as receiving food from surrounding Natives hoping to develop alliances. After the tradition was settled, Abraham Lincoln made the day a national holiday, and Americans continue to celebrate the holiday today.


The visuals associated with the American Thanksgiving aesthetic typically include:

  • Autumn colors: Warm tones such as orange, red, brown, and yellow are prominent, reflecting the changing foliage and harvest season.
  • Harvest motifs: Images of pumpkins, gourds, cornucopias, wheat, and other harvest symbols are commonly used to evoke the spirit of abundance and gratitude.
  • Fall foliage: Pictures of vibrant autumn leaves, especially in shades of red, orange, and gold, capture the essence of the season.
  • Thanksgiving table settings: Images of beautifully arranged tables with festive tablecloths, elegant dinnerware, candles, and centerpieces create a welcoming and celebratory atmosphere.
  • Traditional Thanksgiving food: Visuals showcasing roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cornbread, and pumpkin pie evoke the delicious and indulgent nature of the holiday feast.
  • Cozy and rustic decor: Images of plaid blankets, cozy sweaters, fireplace settings, wooden accents, and rustic elements add warmth and comfort to the aesthetic.
  • Family gatherings: Photographs capturing moments of togetherness, laughter, and shared meals among loved ones reflect the importance of family and connection during Thanksgiving.

These visuals collectively create an inviting and nostalgic atmosphere that celebrates gratitude, abundance, and the joy of coming together with loved ones to give thanks.


In popular media, the American Thanksgiving aesthetic is often portrayed in movies, TV shows, and literature. One notable example is the classic television special "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," which captures the essence of the holiday with its heartfelt storyline and traditional Thanksgiving imagery.


Here is a list of movies that are often associated with Thanksgiving:

  • "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (1973) - A beloved animated television special featuring the Peanuts gang celebrating Thanksgiving.
  • "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" (1987) - A comedy film about two mismatched travelers trying to make it home for Thanksgiving.
  • "Dutch" (1991) - A comedy film about a man who embarks on a road trip to bring his girlfriend's spoiled son home for Thanksgiving.
  • "Scent of a Woman" (1992) - While not solely centered around Thanksgiving, it features a memorable Thanksgiving scene.
  • "Home for the Holidays" (1995) - A comedy-drama that follows a dysfunctional family gathering for Thanksgiving.
  • "The Ice Storm" (1997) - A drama set in the 1970s that follows two dysfunctional families during the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • "The Myth of Fingerprints" (1997) - A drama that explores family dynamics during a Thanksgiving gathering.
  • "Pieces of April" (2003) - A comedy-drama about a young woman hosting Thanksgiving dinner for her estranged family.
  • "The Blind Side" (2009) - While not primarily a Thanksgiving film, it features a heartwarming Thanksgiving scene as part of its story.
  • "Free Birds" (2013) - An animated film where two turkeys travel back in time to change the course of history and prevent Thanksgiving turkey consumption.


  • "Thank You for the Music" by ABBA
  • "Thanksgiving Song" by Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • "Thanksgiving Theme" by Vince Guaraldi Trio (from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving)
  • "Thanksgiving" by George Winston
  • "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" by Arlo Guthrie
  • "Thankful" by Kelly Clarkson
  • "Family Affair" by Sly & The Family Stone
  • "Sweet Potato Pie" by Ray Charles
  • "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young
  • "We Gather Together" (traditional hymn)
  • "Thanksgiving Day" by Ray Davies
  • "Thanksgiving Song" by Johnny Cash
  • "Gratitude" by Earth, Wind & Fire
  • "Thanksgiving" by Jonathan Coulton
  • "Thanksgiving Moon" by Wayne Watson
  • "Thanksgiving Theme" by The National
  • "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by Sly & The Family Stone
  • "Thanksgiving" by Tim O'Brien
  • "Thank You for Being a Friend" by Andrew Gold
  • "The Thanksgiving Filter" by Drive-By Truckers

Similar aesthetics[]



  1. Photo credit: Half-Baked Harvest