From trees to travel how these locals are creating their own Thanksgiving traditions

CHARLOTTE — Thanksgiving traditions are something every family has, from watching football, making a favorite dessert or ending the night with a movie. Channel 9′s Jonathan Lowe spent his Thanksgiving talking to local families about their holiday traditions.

In a trend that started in 2020 during the pandemic, major retailers like Walmart and Target stood firm and stayed closed on Thanksgiving Day. Some have carried this trend into 2022. Others like the Ditchfield family have their own traditions, like traveling to Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

Cassie Ditchfield, her husband and their two small kids hopped on a midmorning flight to St. Louis Thursday.

“This is actually much better than we anticipated — the last time we flew on Thanksgiving we didn’t know if we would make our flight,” Ditchfield said. “It was also cheaper to fly on Thanksgiving.”

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport isn’t the only busy place this turkey day, with newlyweds Aisha and Jerrod Owens at home, preparing some traditions of their own.

“The plan was to wake up, get matching sweaters, of course, be corny, go out and find a nice Christmas tree, and decorate it come nightfall,” Jerrod Owens said.

Carsten Wyche is working at one of the few open shops this Thanksgiving and says he’s seen a steady flow of customers and was happy to keep his store open as a fallback option for last-minute shoppers.

“Thanksgiving’s a very big day for us: we have a lot of last-minute wine and beer shoppers,” Wyche said. “We also provide a few staples and snacks for around the house if you have any last-minute needs.”

Despite many major retailers being closed on Thanksgiving Day, the National Retail Federation expects 166.3 million people to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday; an increase of 8 million compared to last year.

(WATCH BELOW: ‘You are not forgotten’: Charlotte Rescue Mission served food to nearly 500 people on Thanksgiving)

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.