Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Kennedy Price is my 14-year-old sister. She was born and raised in Layton, Utah and currently resides in West Layton. She is the youngest of 4 children in her family. She is an 8th grader at Legacy Junior High School and her favorite subject in school is science. She enjoys playing sports, and her favorite sport is soccer.
Kennedy told me about this custom while we were eating lunch together in my parents’ kitchen in Layton on a Sunday afternoon. We had just returned from a family gathering so we were both really hungry. We sat next to each other at the table, ate, and chatted. My parents walked in and out of the kitchen as we talked, cleaning up and preparing the house for another week. They didn’t interrupt much, but we had to talk over the noises they made as they did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen in general. This tradition always takes place on the night of Thanksgiving, and the game begins at midnight. The duration of the game varies each year, but it takes anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Kennedy and the other participants- Grandma Judy, her paternal grandmother, and all her siblings and cousins aged from 12 to 18 on her dad’s side of the family (usually totaling 5-8 players per year)- gather around 9 PM on Thanksgiving night. The game is always played in Grandma Judy’s kitchen at her house in Syracuse, Utah. The winner of the game rotates; there isn’t any one family member that wins every year. There is always junk food and left over food from Thanksgiving dinner to munch on, and Grandma Judy always feeds the players a late breakfast the next day. After the game finally ends in the early hours of the morning, the players all sleep on the floor in Grandma Judy’s living room.
We go to my Grandma Judy’s house and we eat stuffing and more pie and then everybody goes home except for the cousins that are 12 to 18, well 12 to 20 and we play a game of Monopoly that sometimes goes until 5 in the morning! And we just go until somebody wins the game. We play the board game and play house rules. We do it individually so like there’s no teams and one person is the banker and one person gives out the properties and everybody else just takes care of their piece. After we finish, we go into the front room and sleep.
Kennedy was very comfortable telling me about this custom because it just happened a few weeks ago at Thanksgiving and I have participated in the custom with her. She told me about this custom with a very amused and lighthearted tone because it is an unusual Thanksgiving custom. She would laugh as she remembered certain house rules or funny foods that she’s eaten during this tradition in years past. She described the atmosphere of the custom as loud, competitive, and cutthroat. She said, “everybody starts out really nice, but by the end of the game we are really mean to each other.” This custom is really important to her; she mentioned that she spearheaded the game this year and she is the one who invited everybody and brought the game to her grandma’s house. She looks forward to this tradition and it’s her favorite part of Thanksgiving. She was happy and animated as she told me about the tradition.
Introduction to Folklore/English 2210
Dr. Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
Price, Carrigan, "Thanksgiving Monopoly Night" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 210.