As turkey, mash potatoes and pumpkin pie begin filling in, the Thanksgiving tradition of family and the ideas of pilgrims and indians come to mind. However there are some turkey day traditions which seem to have been long forgotten.
David Long professor of history at Adrian University has come out with a new book all about a Tom Turkey.
Tom Turkey is a tradition from a time long forgotten when children stayed up late on Thanksgiving Eve waiting to have a shot at slaughtering the legionary seven and two quarters foot turkey.
"As legend goes, if the turkey was caught and cut opened you'd have the most wondrous Thanksgiving Dinner filled with all the trimmings and enough food to feed an entire city," Long said.
The Legend of Tom Turkey says the meal is beyond perfect with turkey, yams, potatoes, pumpkin rolls and wine.
"The magical thing about Tom is the meal is already prepared too, no cooking involved," Long said. "His stomach has been keeping the meal warm for all these years and the wine is aged and fermented to perfection."
Long himself has memories of long sleepless nights with a shotgun in hand waiting for a slight gobble in the night.
"My family was quite old school," Long said. "My dad had hunted for Tom as a child and although most of our neighbors were not aware of the folklore, our family refused to let it die."
Long said the origins of Tom Turkey dates back to the Native Americans who told the pilgrims about Tom and the belly full of plenty.
Long said the idea of catching Tom became a childhood obsession.
"My siblings and I would arm ourselves with butcher knives and arrows, spears, guns and whatever else we could find and hide underneath the kitchen table," Long said.
Long even remembers placing a net trap by the kitchen door.
"We only caught my dad as he was making his way for a midnight snack," Long said.
Long said the closest his siblings got was in 1983 when they heard the large stomps of a large clawed figurer.
"We came close," Long said. "We heard him walking which caused all four of us to awake. We came out from beneath the table I shot him as my siblings prepared to hurl their blunt objects at the creature."
Long said the bullet did not him directly just brushed by his side.
"After the shot rang, we heard the longest and loudest gobble gobble imaginable and Tom disappeared right in front of our eyes," Long said. "But a small pile of multicolored feathers were where he once stood."
Long still has the feathers in box he keeps in a bank security deposit box and his childhood home still has the gun shot going through the kitchen wall and into the living room.
Long is preparing for this year with a large bear trap and freshly sharpened knives.
"Some people said the tradition of Tom is long gone because it was all an elaborate lie but I know the truth. How else could those feathers appear?" Long asks. "I believe someday Tom will appear again and a feast beyond your wildest imagination will be had."