The first image that comes to mind when people think about Thanksgiving is a big, fat turkey. Turkeys are indeed enormous; the average Thanksgiving turkey is 15 pounds, or 6.8 kilograms. (This means that people have to eat turkey sandwiches for weeks after Thanksgiving!) The meal, often held in the late afternoon, also includes mashed potatoes with gravy, bread rolls, stuffing (which can be cooked inside the turkey), cranberry sauce, sweet corn, and other seasonal vegetables like sweet potato and green beans. For dessert, pumpkin pie is most popular, although many families enjoy other kinds of pie as well, such as apple pie, pecan pie or blueberry pie.
After the meal, families relax and spend time together, sometimes watching American football games or Thanksgiving Day parades on television. Thanksgiving is also a time to volunteer or donate your time and money to charities. As people reflect on the blessings in their lives, they are inspired to help those who may be going through difficult times. Many churches and community organizations hold free dinners where people volunteer to buy, cook and serve the food. People also organize "food drives" where canned and packaged food is donated, collected and given to those in need. Also, companies and organizations can hold charity events, where employees, friends and families can pay to attend a dinner or dance and all of the money is donated to a charity.