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The Trump Family's Thanksgiving Traditions Are Kept Very Private

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Sometimes it feels like we know everything there possibly is to know about President Donald Trump and his family. Between 24-hour news coverage and Trump’s own Twitter habit, there is little that passes by without comment of the American people. But the family’s holiday celebrations have been surprisingly discreet, which leads some to wonder what the Trump family’s Thanksgiving traditions actually are?

Not much is actually known about the traditions of the first family before they took office. Though Trump was one of the most monetarily successful Americans, the media hasn't spent much time looking into how his family spent their holiday season. It might be safe to assume that he spent it at his Manhattan Trump Tower penthouse, where he spent most of his time living prior to the presidency, according to Forbes, or at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

But if more recent years are any indication, it’s likely that the Trump family have been convening at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. In 2016, just after the November election, the president-elect and his family gathered there for a 24-dish feast that included traditional turkey and sides, but also a selection of seafood, beef tenderloin, leg of lamb, salads and eight different kinds of dessert, according to NBC News.

The details were shared by reporters who were traveling with Trump, as NBC News reported. In 2017 the president returned to Mar-a-Lago with his family, for what was “expected to be an opulent affair,” according to CNN, held inside the private clubhouse.

For 2018, it looks like the Trump family is returning to his Palm Beach home for what is now seemingly becoming a tradition, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. The publication also noted that FAA restrictions associated with presidential travel will be in effect from Nov. 20 to Nov. 25, which indicates at least a VIP visitor. Considering his habit the past two years, it’s a fair bet that he’ll be returning.

There are a few presidential traditions surrounding Thanksgiving that Trump has kept up. Both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama made phone calls to service members on Thanksgiving Day, according to Reuters. Trump has continued that tradition, in 2017 calling troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Bahrain, and on the USS Monterey, as CNN reported. Last year, both the president and his wife also took time while they were in Palm Beach to visit a nearby Coast Guard station, providing food to service members and their families, according to CBS News.

And of course the president has that one very important, funny tradition — the pardoning of a turkey. In 2017, Melania and their son Barron joined the president outside the White House to grant freedom to Drumstick, according to Global News. The turkey moved on to live out its life at a special facility on the campus of Virginia Tech, the president said in his speech, joining the two birds pardoned the previous year by President Obama.

While not much is known about what actually happens within the walls of the president’s family’s Thanksgiving celebration, it does seem like they celebrate together — presumably in the POTUS' Florida estate.