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Thanksgiving

On Cyber Monday, the biggest day of the year for e-commerce in the US, online sales rose 18.4% to $1.735 billion, a record for a single day, according to comScore.

Online sales grew at a torrid pace, rising 22% between Thursday and Cyber Monday, according to data firm comScore.

That does not include sales made using a mobile device such as a smart phone or a tablet.

Cyber Monday fell on December 2 in 2013.

The long Thanksgiving weekend sets the tone for the holiday season, when retailers get about 30% of their annual sales.

Total in-store sales between Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and Sunday rose 1% compared to the same period last year, while the number of visits to stores fell 4%, ShopperTrak said. ShopperTrak has forecast sales at stores will rise 2.4% for November and December together.

During “Black Weekend” 2013, shoppers spent an estimated $22.2 billion, compared to last year’s $22 billion, said ShopperTrak.

Cyber Monday fell on December 2 in 2013

Cyber Monday fell on December 2 in 2013

On Sunday, the National Retail Federation estimated Americans had spent 2.9% less over the weekend.

Shoppers appeared to be waiting a bit longer to do their Christmas shopping, perhaps holding out for deals. An Ipsos poll of almost 1,400 Americans over the weekend found 77% had done at least some of their holiday shopping by Black Friday, compared to 81% on the same day last year.

According to IBM data, sales through mobile devices rose 55%.

The biggest beneficiaries of the surge in online sales were marketplaces run by e-commerce leaders Amazon.com and eBay, according to data released by ChannelAdvisor, a provider of e-commerce software to retailers that tracks online sales.

Sales on Amazon‘s and eBay‘s marketplaces rose 30% on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

They did well in part because of how well suited their sites are to use on mobile devices, said ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo.

Wal-Mart Stores said Monday was the all-time highest online sales day but declined to give a figure or a growth rate compared with last year.

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Outbreaks of violence have marred Black Friday shopping frenzy, as bargain-hunters besieged malls across the US.

In Chicago, police shot an alleged shoplifter; a robber shot a shopper in Las Vegas; and a California police officer was injured in a fight.

Black Friday, the day following the Thanksgiving holiday, is the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.

This year it began even earlier amid a trend for Thanksgiving openings.

Twelve national chains opened their doors on Thursday, advertising aggressive discounts.

Some 15,000 shoppers stormed the flagship Macy’s in New York City as it opened for the first time ever on Thanksgiving evening.

There were several incidents of retail-related disorder across the US:

  • In Chicago, a police officer shot a suspected shoplifter driving a car that was dragging a fellow officer at a Kohl’s department store. The suspect and the dragged officer were treated in hospital for shoulder injuries. Three people were arrested, reports the Chicago Tribune
  • A shopper in Las Vegas who was carrying a big-screen TV home from a Target store on Thanksgiving was shot in the leg as he tried to wrestle the item back from a robber who had just stolen it from him at gunpoint, reports the Las Vegas Sun
  • At a southern California Wal-Mart store, a police officer’s wrist was broken as he tried to break up a fight between two men in the queue outside; there were two more fights over goods inside, reports the San Bernadino Sun
  • A 23-year-old man was doused with pepper spray and arrested after he allegedly attacked a police officer responding to an argument over a television at a Wal-Mart in Garfield, New Jersey, reports the Star-Ledger
  • Despite Wal-Mart’s pledge to overhaul its crowd-control measures, scenes of mayhem such as this one were apparently filmed at a store in Forth Worth, Texas
  • Two arrests were made after a man was stabbed in an argument over a parking space at a Wal-Mart in Virginia, reports local TV station WVVA
    Outbreaks of violence have marred Black Friday shopping frenzy, as bargain-hunters besieged malls across the US

    Outbreaks of violence have marred Black Friday shopping frenzy, as bargain-hunters besieged malls across the US

Workers’ groups have protested that the trend towards Thursday opening means retail employees can no longer spend the day at home with their families, which is supposed to be the point of Thanksgiving Day.

Some retail analysts have begun to dub the holiday Black Thanksgiving, or Grey Thursday.

Workers held demonstrations on Friday outside Wal-Mart stores in the city of Ontario, California, and in Elgin, Illinois, demanding better pay and conditions.

There was anecdotal evidence that the Thursday openings have led to an easing off in consumer footfall on Black Friday itself, though the increased popularity of online shopping could be another factor.

By late Friday morning, the number of shoppers in many stores was more typical of a normal Saturday than the usual frenetic start to the holiday season.

Some 97 million Americans hit the shops on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation.

In 2012, Americans spent $11.2 billion on Black Friday.

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From shootings and stabbings to minor brawls, Black Friday turned violent as shoppers became obsessed over discount deals.

After buying a big screen TV, a Las Vegas shopper was shot at around 9:45 p.m. local time late Thursday as he tried to take his purchase home, Lt. David Gordon of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told NBC News.

“As the victim was walking through his complex he was approached by a suspect who fired warning shots which caused the victim to release the television,” he said.

As the thief tried to load it into a vehicle the victim approached him to try and get it back, David Gordon added.

“The suspect fired two more shots and the victim was struck in the leg,” he said.

“He was not seriously injured.” 

Early Friday shoppers started arriving at a Chicago-area Kohl’s store just hours after a police officer shot the driver of a car that was dragging another officer responding to a call of alleged shoplifting which came in at around 10 p.m. local time.

Both the driver and the officer were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Three people were arrested, police said.

At least three people got into a fight in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Rialto, California, because shoppers were cutting in line, Sgt. Nicholas Borchard told NBC. Two were taken into custody after the fight at around 7 p.m. local time, he added. A police officer suffered a minor unknown injury.

From shootings and stabbings to minor brawls, Black Friday turned violent as shoppers became obsessed over discount deals

From shootings and stabbings to minor brawls, Black Friday turned violent as shoppers became obsessed over discount deals

A man in Claypool Hill, West Virginia, was slashed to the bone with a knife after threatening another man with a gun in an argument over a Wal-Mart parking spot, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told WVVA. Both faced charges after the incident that happened at 6:30 p.m. the station reported.

Another shopper was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer after getting into an argument with a New Jersey Wal-Mart store manager about a television set. Officers arrived at the scene at 6:39 p.m. and once they had pacified the customer they also charged the shopper with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Stores have braced themselves for the Black Friday rush despite a Consumer Reports poll this week that found 56% of Americans had no plans to shop at all this weekend.

Because Thanksgiving fell on November 28, the latest possible date, there are six fewer shopping days this holiday season than last. The most common reason – named by 70% of respondents – was a desire to avoid the crowds.

A Gallup poll this year found that 53% of Americans are very or somewhat likely to do their shopping online, the highest share since Gallup started asking the question in 1998.

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Shoppers eager to catch all Black Friday’s best bargains have been able to make an even earlier start to their holiday shopping, as a record number of stores opened on Thanksgiving Day.

Black Friday, the day following the Thanksgiving holiday, is the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.

Retailers offer special deals to tempt shoppers to spend.

Shoppers eager to catch all Black Friday’s best bargains have been able to make an even earlier start to their holiday shopping, as a record number of stores opened on Thanksgiving Day

Shoppers eager to catch all Black Friday’s best bargains have been able to make an even earlier start to their holiday shopping, as a record number of stores opened on Thanksgiving Day

Some stores, including the flagship Macy’s in New York, opened on Thursday evening – traditionally reserved for celebrating – for the first time ever.

Twelve national chains opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day.

Workers’ groups have protested that the trend towards Thanksgiving opening means retail employees can no longer spend the day with their own families.

Thanksgiving Day is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

Black Friday took over from the last Saturday before Christmas as the biggest shopping day of the year for US consumers in 2001.

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More than 3.5 million spectators watched the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the streets of New York City on November 28.

Snoopy, Spider-Man and the rest of the iconic balloons have gotten the all-clear to fly between Manhattan skyscrapers at the annual parade.

There’d been some concerns about whether the wind could keep 16 giant balloons grounded, but the cherished tradition prevailed.

More than 3.5 million spectators watched the 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the streets of New York City

More than 3.5 million spectators watched the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the streets of New York City

Balloon handlers were keeping a tight grip on their inflated characters and held them fairly close to the ground in tree-lined areas. The wind was around 26 mph.

The cheering throngs were bundled against a 30-degree chill, but the sun was shining. Some in the crowd lifted small children onto their shoulders.

Elsewhere in the country, Thanksgiving traditions were largely unaffected by the weather.

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Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Ingredients:

For Pie

  • pastry for single-crust pie
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples

Crumb Topping

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter

Final Topping

  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Prepare pastry for single-crust pie, being careful not to stretch dough too much.
  2. Place in pie plate and trim and crimp the edge.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add apple slices and gently toss until they are coated well.
  5. Transfer mixture to pie.
  6. FOR CRUMB TOPPING: Stir together brown sugar, flour, and oats.
  7. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until topping resembles coarse crumbs.
  8. Sprinkle over apple mixture in pie.
  9. To prevent over-browning while baking, cover edge of pie with foil.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
  11. Remove foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until top is golden.
  12. Remove from oven.
  13. Drizzle top with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans.
  14. Cool on wire rack and serve

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This year, President Barack Obama has symbolically pardoned two turkeys on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The turkeys, named Caramel and Popcorn, were granted their presidential reprieve at the White House in what has become an annual tradition.

“I salute our two guests of honor… for their bravery,” Barack Obama said of the turkeys who competed for the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey.

Popcorn emerged the victor in a previously conducted Facebook poll.

Barack Obama has symbolically pardoned two turkeys on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday

Barack Obama has symbolically pardoned two turkeys on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday

Barack Obama, flanked by daughters Sasha and Malia, joked that his job came with “awesome and solemn responsibilities” – but the annual turkey pardon “was not one of them”.

On a more serious note, Barack Obama thanked the American people as well as members of the military for their service prior to the national holiday.

Both Caramel and Popcorn will be shuttled to nearby Mount Vernon – George Washington’s historic home – where they remain through Christmas.

Popcorn and Caramel will not be one of the estimated 46 million turkeys Americans consumed on Thanksgiving every year.

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The deadly winter storm that had threatened Thanksgiving travel gridlock on the East Coast has so far proven less troublesome than originally feared.

High winds and rain have delayed hundreds of flights but have failed to cause commuting misery on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

A National Weather Service official called it a “fairly typical storm for this time of year”.

More than 43 million Americans will travel during the holiday.

The storm, which developed on the West Coast over the weekend and has been blamed for nearly a dozen deaths, may still dump heavy snow on parts of the East Coast.

About 6in of snow is forecast for parts of West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, while up to 1ft could fall in a pocket of upstate New York.

More than 250 flights were delayed on Wednesday along the East Coast, far fewer than the thousands originally predicted.

More than 250 flights were delayed on Wednesday along the East Coast, far fewer than the thousands originally predicted

More than 250 flights were delayed on Wednesday along the East Coast, far fewer than the thousands originally predicted

Travelers had been braced for long waits at the airport, but many were left pleasantly surprised.

“We thought it would be busier here but there’ve been no lines, and it has been really quiet all morning,” Katie Fleisher told the Associated Press news agency at Boston’s Logan airport.

But meteorologists warned that falling temperatures could create icy road conditions for those who put off travel until Wednesday evening.

The Boston area is forecast to face 60mph winds. And the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania state has been placed under flood watch.

The storm is also threatening a time-honored Thanksgiving tradition: the New York Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

New safety rules following a 1997 accidental death from a windblown balloon could prevent their use on Thursday if gusts are too high.

Thanksgiving has been marked for hundreds of years, and is generally thought to commemorate a 1621 harvest feast the pilgrims shared with Indians after settling at Plymouth, in what is now Massachusetts.

The modern festival sees millions of people travel to be with family, eat turkey feasts, watch NFL football matches and – in recent years – plan or even begin their assault on the holiday sales.

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The winter storm blamed for up to a dozen deaths is threatening to bring travel misery to the East Coast on the eve of the Thanksgiving Day.

The system, which dumped heavy rain and snow over the region on Tuesday, has already caused some flight delays.

Forecasters say more than 1 ft of snow could fall in western Pennsylvania, western New York and Vermont before Thursday.

More than 43 million Americans are expected to travel during the holiday.

The storm is also threatening to ground the giant balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

City regulations bar the inflatables from being used when sustained winds exceed 23 mph or when gusts top 34 mph.

The balloons of beloved characters such as Mickey Mouse and the Pillsbury Doughboy are due to be made ready on Wednesday evening.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a winter weather warning, urging motorists to use extreme caution.

Meteorologists also predict the storm could bring 2-4 in of rain up the Atlantic coast from Richmond, Virginia, to Portland, Maine.

The deadly winter storm is threatening to bring travel misery to the East Coast on the eve of the Thanksgiving Day

The deadly winter storm is threatening to bring travel misery to the East Coast on the eve of the Thanksgiving Day

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time,” said meteorologist Tim Morrin, of the National Weather Service.

“Visibility will be restricted not only by the rain and wash from other cars, but from the fog.”

Late on Tuesday, flight delays were reported in Charlotte, North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; and Baltimore, Maryland.

Daniel Baker, of flight-tracking service FlightAware, said that most airlines expect to continue operating full schedules, although further delays were likely.

Some travelers were getting on earlier flights to avoid ending up stranded.

Lisa Jablon was originally due to fly on Wednesday morning from New York City to Syracuse, New York state, but she moved her flight to Tuesday night.

“I’m flying up to spend the holiday with my boyfriend’s family and I didn’t want to get stuck,” she told the Associated Press news agency.

The icy weather started in the western states and has caused at least 10 fatal road crashes.

Deaths from weather-related accidents were reported in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and California.

Thanksgiving Day celebrates the harvest and blessings of the past year.

It has been marked for hundreds of years, and is generally thought to commemorate a 1621 harvest feast the US Pilgrims shared with Indians after settling at Plymouth, in what is now Massachusetts.

The modern festival sees millions of people travel to be with family, eat turkey feasts, watch NFL football matches and – in recent years – plan or even begin their assault on the holiday sales.

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The annual New York City Sidewalk Santa Parade has been canceled after more than a century due to rising costs involved in organizing the event.

The Sidewalk Santas, who for a century have marched up Fifth Avenue the morning after Thanksgiving to collect donations from Black Friday shoppers, are hanging up their suits.

NYC Sidewalk Santa Parade was an annual tradition organized by the Volunteers of America-Greater New York to raise money for its Hope & Hearth campaign, which last year gave over 1,200 families vouchers for groceries during the holiday season, communications director Rachel Weinstein said.

The annual New York City Sidewalk Santa Parade has been canceled after more than a century due to rising costs involved in organizing the event

The annual New York City Sidewalk Santa Parade has been canceled after more than a century due to rising costs involved in organizing the event

However, the one-day parade of about 50 bell-ringing volunteers never raised much money and the cost of storing, cleaning and transporting dozens of Santa suits was rising, Rachel Weinstein said.

“We wanted to expand the food voucher program and we needed to find ways to raise more money, and save money (where) we weren’t doing it before,” Rachel Weinstein said.

“In reality it wasn’t raising the money we need for this program.”

The tradition began in 1896 when Ballington Booth, the son of the Salvation Army founders, traveled by horse-drawn carriage across the city to deliver hot holiday meals to hungry New Yorkers.

With more hungry families in the city now than at any time since the Great Depression, Weinstein said cutting the parade costs was a practical decision. The group also takes private donations through its website, www.hopeandhearth.org.

Instead of the parade, the group has set up a collection bin at the Plaza Hotel to collect donations from the parents who bring their children to sit on the lap of the Plaza’s Santa.

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1. Start tracking store sales in advance. Follow your favorite retailers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest before Black Friday. Not only will they reveal details about sales before they happen, many stores will also offer exclusive discounts on those sites. In the past, stores like RadioShack have offered savings to shoppers who “checked in” with the brand on Foursquare, a common smartphone app.

2. Shop online in the wee hours of Thanksgiving. Many sellers activate their online deals the day before -typically between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. So if you have your eye on a particular product or store, look early that morning to see if the savings are live yet. Any sale will usually hold through Friday. True, prices may go lower on Cyber Monday. But the odds of finding a good price are in your favor.

Focus on only Black Friday’s best bargains so you're not tempted to buy in the heat of the moment

Focus on only Black Friday’s best bargains so you’re not tempted to buy in the heat of the moment

3. On Black Friday, start online. The prices on Friday can be awesome, but about 70% of Black Friday deals are also available online, and 78% of them come with a free shipping offer, according to research from DealNews.com. Check just after midnight on Friday morning for new deals that didn’t go live on Thursday. Bonus: If an online retailer doesn’t have a physical store in your state, you may not have to pay sales tax.

4. Go for electronics. If you have a Blu-ray player or smartphone in mind, Black Friday is the day to shop, both online and in-store, according to experts. In past years, Apple has discounted iPads, iPods and other tech by 10% to 15% on Black Friday. Television prices will be at their lowest, too. In general, the best deal will be on an off-brand flat-screen, which is often discounted more deeply than a brand like Samsung.

5. Wait for Cyber Monday to purchase clothing. If you want a new outfit, hold off until Cyber Monday. Soft goods like cosmetics, shoes and apparel carry bigger discounts that day because retailers don’t want to compete with Friday’s giant tech bargains (a $5 shirt may not impress you when it’s next to a $200 TV). Last year Eddie Bauer gave 40% off on Cyber Monday, versus 30% on Black Friday. Also look for great travel deals on Monday.

A deadly wintry storm heading toward East Coast threatens Thanksgiving travel plans for millions of Americans.

The storm threatens to dump snow on inland regions of several Northeast states on the eve of the holiday, a meteorologist said Monday.

The weather system has already heaped up to a foot of snow in the mountain regions of Utah and Colorado, and claimed 13 lives including a 4-year-old girl killed in a rollover smash on icy roads in New Mexico.

A deadly wintry storm heading toward East Coast threatens Thanksgiving travel plans for millions of Americans

A deadly wintry storm heading toward East Coast threatens Thanksgiving travel plans for millions of Americans

With the storm gathering pace and moving northeast, the 43 million people who are expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving were warned to avoid driving during the worst conditions slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, said Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

Three million of these travelers expected to fly, and there is also a good chance flights could be delayed leaving from airports in New York, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.

Kevin Roth said this was due to forecast low cloud and high wind, however, rather than ice or snow.

Some 300 flights were canceled at DFW International Airport across Saturday and Sunday, with officials there anticipating icy conditions.

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A wintry storm, which started in the Southwest on Thursday, could affect a good chunk of the country by the time its westward march comes to an end.

The storm making its way through New Mexico and Texas, with the possibility of advancing to the Northeast and hindering holiday travel plans along the way.

The inconveniently-timed storm will especially be a concern for the 43 million people who are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA.

Three million of those are slated to fly to their destinations, AAA predicted.

The “Nordic outbreak” will “produce a mixed bag of wily weather that will end up impacting much of the nation,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Harris.

More than a foot of snow was reported on Sunday in many mountain regions of Utah and Colorado, but the greatest accumulation reached almost four feet in Abajo Peak in southeast Utah, according to the Weather Channel. Even Flagstaff, Ariz. has seen 6 inches of snow since the storm started Thursday night, according to AZ Central.

On Sunday, most of New Mexico and Texas and parts of Oklahoma were placed under National Weather Service winter storm warnings until Monday.

In New Mexico, forecasters predicted 5 inches of snow and temperatures as low as 20. The snow that began late Saturday, paired with the freezing temperatures, created dangerous driving conditions, and many roads were closed.

The icy roads there led to a rollover accident that killed a 4-year-old girl, State Police Sergeant Emmanuel Gutierrez said.

The inconveniently-timed storm will especially be a concern for the 43 million people who are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday

The inconveniently-timed storm will especially be a concern for the 43 million people who are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday

New Mexico NBC affiliate KOB reported strong winds and near white-out conditions late Saturday night along a stretch of I-40, about 80 miles west of Albuquerque.

On Saturday, a storm-related crash involving nearly a dozen vehicles left three dead in the Texas Panhandle.

Three more were killed due to the storm in California, where the storm first hit. A man was killed when he crashed his car into a tree and a woman was killed when a tree collapsed onto her parked car. A third person in California was found dead near power lines that were down due to heavy winds and flooding.

Additional flooding in Arizona swept a man into the Santa Cruz River. Firefighters recovered his body on Friday.

The wild weather system will spread east to Arkansas and northern Louisiana Sunday night into early Monday, according to the Weather Channel.

From there, it will most likely bring heavy rain to the Southeast through Tuesday, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Dr. Tom Niziol.

The storm is expected to dump rain on areas from Atlanta to the Carolinas on Monday and Tuesday then turn to snowfall over Tennessee through West Virginia as it continues to progress Northeast on Wednesday, Tom Niziol said.

Conditions in the Northeast were largely dry Sunday, but the region experienced a cold blast that bought temperatures down to 10 degrees overnight – conditions “considered cold by January standards,” according to the National Weather Service.

The region might see the second waves of the winter storm system on Wednesday, as many last minute travelers attempt to fly or drive long distances.

A blast of cold air from the north could merge with the storm system from the south and lead to snow accumulation in western and northern New England, Pennsylvania and New York, according to the Weather Channel.

In a second possibility, the two systems would not meet, but low pressure could produce snow in main northeast coastal cities.

Whether or not travelers make it to their destinations, the storm will have moved out to sea by Thanksgiving Day, allowing for dry conditions across most of the country, according to the Weather Channel.

Still, the Weather Channel predicts temperatures in the eastern part of the country will be 10 to 20 degrees below average on the holiday.

Thursday morning wind gusts between 20 and 30 mph in the Northeast could have the potential to damper the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, according to AccuWeather.com.

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The 87th annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Detroit, Michigan, begins at 8:45 a.m. on November 28.

The parade route runs along Woodward Avenue from Kirby to Congress at Campus Martius. Grandstand seats are available from between $35 to $55 (depending on location and whether breakfast is included). The parade will be broadcast on WDIV-TV and WJR 760 AM from 9 to 10 a.m.

The 87th annual America's Thanksgiving Parade route runs along Woodward Avenue from Kirby to Congress at Campus Martius

The 87th annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade route runs along Woodward Avenue from Kirby to Congress at Campus Martius

This year’s America’s Thanksgiving Parade is made possible through the efforts of over 4500 volunteers.

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Thanksgiving travelers in the East and South on Tuesday and Wednesday will face trouble as a storm brings most areas rain but could also bring heavy snow to a narrow swath.

However, much of the rest of the nation will be dry.

The same storm affecting the Southwest with snow, ice, rain and thunderstorms this weekend will reach the Southeast with rain Tuesday. From there the storm will turn up the East Coast, tracking into colder air, perhaps causing even greater travel disruptions.

AccuWeather.com COO Evan Myers said: “If the storm hugs the coast and develops to its full potential, it could be a flight nightmare, not only for travelers in the East, but also throughout the nation.”

After drenching coastal Texas on Monday, the storm will cruise eastward along the Gulf coast Monday night and Tuesday.

Travel delays on the I-10 and I-20 corridors are in store from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and northern Florida from rain-soaked highways and poor visibility from downpours.

The rain can be heavy enough and cloud ceilings low enough to delay flights at New Orleans, Atlanta and other airports in the region.

Thanksgiving travelers in the East and South on Tuesday and Wednesday will face trouble as a storm brings most areas rain but could also bring heavy snow to a narrow swath

Thanksgiving travelers in the East and South on Tuesday and Wednesday will face trouble as a storm brings most areas rain but could also bring heavy snow to a narrow swath

During Tuesday night, the drenching rain will begin to swing northeastward across South and North Carolina to Virginia, along the I-95 and I-85 corridors.

Right along the Gulf coast and over part of the southern Atlantic Seaboard, there is also the potential for strong to locally severe thunderstorms.

The exact track and intensity of the storm as it swings up or slips off the East Coast Tuesday night into Wednesday night are still in question and hold the key to dry weather versus rain versus snow in some locations.

Even if rain were to fall over much of the area, it would be enough to slow travel on the highways and delay a number of flights. Gusty winds would also factor in to delays along the coast, even if the storm were to roll out to sea.

Rain is the most likely form of precipitation from Virginia to near New York City then southeastern New England, with the air simply being too warm or the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean exerting its influence. This includes Richmond, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

If fresh cold air invades the storm, then there could be a period of snow over the mountains from northern West Virginia and western Maryland to central and northeastern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and western and northern New England. If this scenario pans out, major travel disruptions could be in store for portions of I-80, I-81, I-87, I-90 and I-91.

Only if the storm were to strengthen a great deal and draw more cold air in would there be a change from rain to snow in New York City, Hartford, Connecticut, and Boston.

For those traveling on Thanksgiving Day, the storm or its near-miss will likely have exited much of the region. However, some rain or snow is still possible early in the day in northern New England.

More details on the track of the storm and forecast for the Northeast will be released on AccuWeather.com as they becomes available.

A storm is forecast to move in from the Pacific Ocean during the middle of the week.

This storm will has a chance of bringing rain to the I-5 corridor in California to part of Oregon Wednesday into Thanksgiving Day.

As a result, there is a chance of wet weather and perhaps travel delays from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Some snow is possible in the Sierra Nevada and over Donner Pass along I-80.

Much of the rest of the nation will have good travel conditions.

Beware, aircraft and flight crews originating from the South and Northeast could be delayed, perhaps causing ripple-effect problems with a few flights throughout the nation.

There will be bands of lake-effect snow over the Upper Midwest, due to fresh cold air moving in Tuesday and Wednesday. The lake-effect snow should diminish in most locations by Thanksgiving Day.

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People are already lining up at a local Best Buy store in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for this year’s Black Friday deals.

One shopper claims he started waiting in line on Monday evening (November 18) – 10 days before Black Friday.

He set up a tent complete with all the necessary luxuries for living the Black-Friday-line high life, including a bed, a microwave, a television and of course, a heater, because it’s really cold in Ohio around this time of year.

People are already lining up at a local Best Buy store in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for this year’s Black Friday deals

People are already lining up at a local Best Buy store in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for this year’s Black Friday deals

Another Black Friday shopper is waiting in the line as well, and both of them have friends and family who volunteer to take turns waiting in line and working different shifts so that they can go take showers, and you know, live their lives. They have Thanksgiving dinner in the tents with the whole family, but this is part of an 11-year tradition for this Black Friday shopper, who was even talked into continuing the tradition by his kids when he contemplated quitting a few years ago.

Best Buy hasn’t even officially published its Black Friday advertisements yet; those will likely arrive on Sunday (November 24), but thanks to websites dedicated to Black Friday shopping, folks can get a peek at leaked circulars for different stores, including Best Buy. One of the biggest deals is for the iPad Air, which will see a discount between $50-$70 off. The store will even have iPad 2 units selling for just $299, which is a $100 savings from the original $399 price tag.

Best Buy will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening (November 28), and they will hand out tickets for the doorbuster items two-hours before the store opens.

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Pumpkin Crème Caramel

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup pumpkin puree

Pumpkin Crème Caramel

Pumpkin Crème Caramel

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup white sugar

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Whisk egg yolks and brown sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in heavy cream, pumpkin puree, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Divide pumpkin mixture between seven (5-inch) ramekins about 1/2 inch from the top.
  4. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and fill with the baking dish hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove ramekins and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours.
  6. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of sugar onto each creme brulee. Melt the sugar with a chef’s torch until crisp and dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

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Rich and Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

Ingredients (8 serves):

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon salt

Rich and Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

Rich and Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

1 cup heavy cream, divided

freshly ground black pepper to taste

freshly grated nutmeg to taste

2 cups freshly shredded Gruyere cheese, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. Place potatoes, garlic, and salt into a large pot, fill with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer the potatoes until tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer about half the potatoes to a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Pour half of the cream over the potatoes, season with black pepper and nutmeg, and sprinkle half of the Gruyere cheese onto the mixture. Top with the remaining potatoes; sprinkle again with black pepper and nutmeg. Pour on the remaining cream, and sprinkle with remaining Gruyere cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese topping is crisp and brown on top, about 1 hour.

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Banana Bourbon Layer Cake from Martha Stewart

Prepare the sliced-banana topping just before serving.
Ingredients: (8 to 10 serves)

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 ripe bananas, enough to make 1 cup mashed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    Banana Bourbon Layer Cake

    Banana Bourbon Layer Cake

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 bananas, not too ripe
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup bourbon

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. In another bowl, mash bananas, and combine with buttermilk and vanilla. Add alternately to butter mixture with flour mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into batter.
  4. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
  5. When cake layers are cool, whip cream with confectioners’ sugar until stiff. Fold in sour cream. Place a cake layer on a plate, and spread with filling to within 1 inch of edge. Place other layer on top, and press down lightly. Chill for 1 hour.
  6. Slice bananas 1/2 inch thick. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When it sizzles, add slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with sugar. When golden brown, turn slices; cook until brown on other side.
  7. Carefully pour in bourbon (using a measuring cup, never the bottle) and ignite with a match. Cook until flames die down, shaking the pan to toss bananas in syrup. Remove from heat.
  8. Arrange banana slices on top of cake. Pour remaining syrup over cake, letting it drip down sides. Serve immediately.

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Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie from Martha Stewart

A hidden layer of bittersweet chocolate coats the crumb crust, semisweet imparts a silken smoothness to the customary custard, and a drizzle of milk chocolate on top.

Ingredients (12 serves):

  • 2 cups (about 16 crackers) finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61% cacao), finely chopped
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55% cacao), chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

    Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ounce milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 can (15-ounce) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (12-ounce) evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  3. Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.
  5. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.

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Miss Kay Robertson presents a Thanksgiving special: Aunt Judy’s Cranberry Salad.

Aunt Judy was Phil Robertson’s older sister. She loved to cook and used it as a way to relax. Aunt Judy was an administrative nurse and passed away in 2006.

 

Ingredients (8-10 servings):

1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries (3 cups) rinsed and dried

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad

1 cup sugar

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 container (16 ounces) whipped topping

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse de cranberries and sugar together until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a container with a cover and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have a food processor, use a mallet or fork to crush the cranberries.
  2. The next morning, put the cranberries in a colander and drain off the juice. Transfer the cranberries to a large mixing or serving bowl and add the pineapple, marshmallows, whipped topping, and pecans and mix well.
  3. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

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Miss Kay Robertson’s Honey Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

3 – large eggs, beaten
3/4 – cup granulated sugar
4 – tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 – teaspoon salt
1 – teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 – cup light corn syrup
1/2 – cup honey
1 1/2 – cups chopped pecans
1 – 9 inch store bought deep dish pie crust, unbaked

Miss Kay Robertson shares Thanksgiving recipes from Duck Commander kitchen

Miss Kay Robertson shares Thanksgiving recipes from Duck Commander kitchen

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer until fluffy (about 8 minutes).

In a separate large mixing bowl stir together the sugar, salt, butter, vanilla and syrups. Gently fold in the eggs. Gently fold in the pecans.

Pour filling into the pie crust. Bake for 40-50 minutes , until the filling is almost set (You still want the filling to jiggle just a bit in the center) because the pie will continue to set up as it cools.

Let pie cool completely before cutting. Pecan Pies are best made the morning of or a day before you want to serve them (to give them time to set up completely).

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Pecan Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup vegetable shortening or lard

3/4 cup salted butter, cut into pieces

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

Pecan pie for Thanksgiving

Pecan pie for Thanksgiving

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup corn syrup (light or dark)

1/3 cup melted salted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 whole eggs beaten

1 cup (heaping) chopped pecans

 

Directions:

First, whip up the pie crust: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the vegetable shortening and salted butter. Work the butter into the flour using a dough cutter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles.

Add the egg, 5 tablespoons cold water and the white vinegar. Stir until just combined. Divide the dough in half and chill until needed. (You will only need one half for this recipe, reserve the other half for another use.)

Next make the filling: Mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, vanilla and eggs together in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out one dough half on a lightly floured surface to fit your pie pan. Pour the pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour the syrup mixture over the top. Cover the top and crust lightly/gently with foil.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans. The pie should not be overly jiggly when you remove it from the oven (though it will jiggle a bit). If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe. Sometimes it takes 50 minutes, sometimes it takes 75!

Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.

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There are a set of skills necessary to best experience the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person that are learned from those who have made the trip.

The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. at 77th Street and Central Park West. It travels down Central Park West to Columbus Circle, where it turns onto Central Park South. From there, it’s on to Sixth Avenue – there are great spots here between 59th and 38th streets, but avoid 34th to 38th streets, which will be restricted due to national broadcast needs. It all wraps up in Herald Square.

According to the pros who brave the crowds each year, there are a few tried-and-true strategies:

 

1. The first and most important, arrive early.

“Get there as early as possible,” said aCEO of celebrityletters.com Chris Lucas.

“The parade begins at 9 a.m. and millions line the streets. You have a small window, from about 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. to find a spot where you can be close to the front and not have to peek over crowds 10 to 20 people deep. If you sleep-in and arrive late, all you’re going to see is the balloons overhead.”

Chris Lucas grew up in the New York City area, went to the parade several times as a youngster, but has attended every year for the past 15 years. Taking part in the holiday tradition has taught him something about dealing with the late November weather.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 am at 77th Street and Central Park West

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 am at 77th Street and Central Park West

 

2. Short-timers will advise you to bring a thermos of warm drinks to help ward off the chill. That would be a mistake. The first law of sidewalk dynamics states: fluid in, fluid out.

“It’s a cold morning, and the temptation is to bring coffee or another warming beverage,” Chris Lucas said.

“But there are zero public restrooms along the parade route, for security reasons, so filling up on liquids is the biggest no-no.”

Most of the stores, coffee shops and dining spots near the parade route close for the day anyway. Even if you find one open, it would be difficult to get through the crowd and then back to your spot.

 

3. Forget watching the parade from in front of Macy’s – you’ll need a bandstand ticket for that, and you’ll probably have to know someone in order to score one of those.

Chris Lucas’ best tips: “In addition to getting there as early as possible – I can’t stress that enough, especially if you have small children and want them to see the parade – my advice is to stay far away from Times Square or Herald Square. The best spots to view this year will be anywhere on Sixth Avenue from 59th to 50th street. Get there around 5 a.m., set up your chairs, relax with a book or mobile device and wait for the two-hour show that follows. It’s not to be missed.”

 

4. If claiming a spot of sidewalk during the pre-dawn hours in potentially chilling temperatures isn’t your vision of the ideal Thanks­giving Day, perhaps booking a hotel room with a great view of the proceedings is more acceptable.

Watching the parade from the comfort of your own hotel room is going to cost you.

There are a few things to remember before booking: Many hotels have strict occupancy rules, which means you can’t invite a large group to squeeze into your room with you, and some have a minimum-night stay associated with special packages. The best views are generally from the fifth to 15th floors. And while there are only days until the parade steps off, there are options for some last-minute planners.

 

5. Parking on the street is free, but don’t expect to find an abundance of it.

Expect prices at parking garages near the parade route to be more expensive. The Acela from South Station to Penn Station is about a 3.5 hours ride, with tickets ranging from $128 to $211 on November 27, and $145 to $272 returning home Thanksgiving night .

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