INDIANAPOLIS — If you are searching around for last-minute Thanksgiving ideas, you aren’t alone.

Google released the top Thanksgiving-related searches for the last week, showing people are not only interested in remembering when Thanksgiving is (it is this Thursday by the way) but several how-tos to go along with the big meal.

Answering the big questions

According to the data from Google Trends, the top two questions from the last week are related to the timing of Thanksgiving. Specifically, when is Thanksgiving and how many days are left until Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving falls on the 4th Thursday of November every year. For 2022, that means it will be on November 24. The time is ticking to get your plans in order.

Families are also interested in when Thanksgiving break is. While this varies by school district, Indianapolis Public Schools runs from November 24 through November 26.

While this answers when Thanksgiving is, one of the top questions asked is what Thanksgiving is. After all, the holiday is older than the United States itself.

The 400-year-old tale of the feast between the Wampanoags and Pilgrims for the first Thanksgiving is commonly shared in elementary school. Many students learn that Native Americans helped the Pilgrims survive, taught them farming techniques, and celebrated with them at a big feast.

However, as the Associated Press reports, the predominant version of the Thanksgiving story often skips an uncomfortable history. 

While many people are searching and trying to figure out how to make the best Thanksgiving meal, other people are more interested in dining out. They want to know what restaurants are open on Thanksgiving.

For that, we have you covered. Check out our list of places to take your family on Thanksgiving or spots to order food, turkeys, and pies.

OK Google, how do…

With the big questions out of the way, Google moved on to the top how-to questions for the week. While some of the questions were food related, there were some puzzlers that make you think.

The food questions come down to a matter of where you are. The Google Trends report shows that people are interested in how to make stuffing for Thanksgiving and how to cook the turkey itself.

Google broke the data down by state to try to answer these questions. When it comes to stuffing, people are divided by what they use.

Some people prefer produce-based stuffings while other people like meat-based stuffing. A wide swath of the south prefers cornbread stuffing. There are also some very unique stuffings scattered around like Oklahoma residents liking red Jello for their stuffing (don’t ask me, it’s what the data shows).

Indiana residents searched for Cranberry Stuffing. You can check out what other regions were looking for below:

Turkey is the traditional main course on Thanksgiving. After all, almost 9 in 10 Americans eat turkey for the festive meal.

While a historian from Texas A&M University says the reasonings why Americans eat turkey has more to do with how Americans observed the holiday in the late 1800s than which poultry the Pilgrims ate while celebrating their bounty in 1621, how Americans serve that turkey varies by state.

Google Trends data shows that while there are a variety of ways people cook their turkey, there is a most popularly-searched method over the last month.

People, including those in Indiana, want to search for smoked turkey.

As of November 21, only South Carolina showed a strong interest in fried turkey, which may make firefighters breathe a little easier.

The National Fire Protection Association and Consumer Product Safety Commission warn against using turkey fryers. While deep-fried turkey may taste good, there are known dangers. Since 1998, CPSC is aware of 222 fire or scald/burn incidents involving turkey fryers, resulting in 83 injuries and $9.7 million in property loss.

Other than food, Google Trends data shows people are interested in some art. Among the top search results were how to draw a Thanksgiving turkey (a fun art project to do with your kids) and how to draw Thanksgiving. This last one requires a little thought, as it depends on what Thanksgiving means to the artist.

Filling the table

Other than the main dish, Google Trends tracked what people are most interested in to go along with their meal. While stuffing topped out the search traffic, the data shows people are also historically interested in mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce.

People have also been searching for something festive to drink along with their meals. Most of the drinks are alcoholic, but people are also searching for some apple cider punch.

The data shows people are divided on what to finish off their Thanksgiving dinner with. Pumpkin pie is the most commonly searched pie, but other dishes, including cranberry pie, are taking a slice of the action.

No matter what people put on the table, it will cost more this year. the Associated Press reports that Americans are bracing for a costly Thanksgiving this year, with double-digit percent increases in the price of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, canned pumpkin and other staples. The U.S. government estimates food prices will be up 9.5% to 10.5% this year; historically, they’ve risen only 2% annually.

Lower production and higher costs for labor, transportation and items are part of the reason; disease, rough weather and the war in Ukraine are also contributors.

Modern Thanksgiving traditions

After the meal, people may decide to participate in some modern Thanksgiving traditions. These include football, parades, and Black Friday shopping.

This year, the NFL Thanksgiving Day schedule features matchups between the Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions, New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots vs Minnesota Vikings.

There is also the ever-popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year’s parade will feature 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns, 10 performance groups and, of course, Santa Claus.

Thanksgiving dinner will add a few thousand calories to people’s diets. That is why people are also interested in learning more about their local Turkey Trot. This annual 5K race is one way to burn off some of those calories.

Indiana residents seem to be most interested in watching the parade. You can see what other parts of the country are interested in below:

With the turkey put away and people’s minds set on Christmas, the next logical step is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Google Trends Data shows people have been getting more interested as the month progresses.

Industry groups are predicting another record year of retail sales. The National Retail Federation is forecasting a jump of 6% to 8% over the $890 billion consumers spent online and in stores in November and December of 2021.

However, researchers from Michigan State University say results from a new survey suggest people will be spending less as a combination of soaring consumer prices, rising borrowing costs and growing odds of a recession weighs on their wallets.

From meal prep to shopping, it all goes to show that a lot of thought goes into the holiday before you pile all that turkey on your plate–and enjoy a few days of leftovers.