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Being elected leader of the Free World—now there’s something to give thanks for!

Intense national interest in your feelings about cranberry sauce, not so much.

You win some, you lose some. As the Obamas enter the holiday season as first family-in-waiting, Americans are eager for insight into their celebrations. After all, how they spend Turkey Day may give us a sense of the style, rituals and traditions they will bring to the White House.

“Traditionally, he’s been spending Thanksgiving in Chicago with his family and friends,” says Al Kindle, a field operator for Obama this year and in his 2000 race against Rep. Bobby Rush. “He likes to read, and he likes to hang out with the girls.”

In years past, that’s meant a potluck dinner with Michelle’s folks in Chicago. (Christmases have usually been spent in Hawaii with Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, and half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. Plans this year may depend on the scheduling of a private memorial service for Dunham, who passed away just before Election Day.)

The University of Chicago Laboratory School, Malia and Sasha’s soon-to-be-former academic home, gives students a three-day Thanksgiving break from classes. But individual classrooms may put on a holiday party or class performance (when I attended the Lab School, re-enactments of the Mayflower landing were de rigeur).

Click here to learn about more Obama holiday traditions.

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