Families in San Francisco opt for nontraditional Thanksgivings

- Thanksgiving Day activities means large family gatherings and for some, it includes shopping. But for others, this year was the time to do things in a nontraditional way: no big feasts and no shopping.

In San Francisco, even the usually bustling neighborhoods are quiet and most businesses are closed. 

But on Union Street, Perry's Restaurant was open.

Patrons tell us having a meal out is a relaxing way to spend this holiday. They say not having to prepare a large meal for lots of people is something to be thankful for.

"We decided to go out to dinner. It's a bit easier," says Sarah Wilson of San Francisco.

She was strolling along Union Street with her husband and her parents, who are visiting from Auburn.

They say it takes a lot of work cooking the traditional Thanksgiving meal at home and eating out is more relaxing.

"It relieves my wife of having to make a huge meal for everyone. We enjoy letting other people to do work." says Wilson's father Rich Wilson.

"It's about family and friends," says Andrew Todd Handler, "As long as you're together with family and friends, whether you're at home or out, it's all good".

Apparently, this idea is shared by others. Perry's restaurant has been busy most of the day.

"The weather's gorgeous. We're sitting outside. It's a good place to be right now," says one patron. 

The manager at Perry's tells KTVU that their business nearly doubles on Thanksgiving Day compared to a normal Thursday and it's one of the busiest days of the year. 

"Thanksgiving does pretty well for us. Yeah, we like it. We have fun too," says Carolyn Cherry, manager at Perry's.

One man, who was waiting for a ride along Union Street, says he doesn't have family in town. He works three jobs and wants to relax on this day.    

"Just trying to enjoy myself. Enjoy my free time. I don't have to work today so I might go to the bar. I just got something to eat. I might get a few drinks or two," says Jack Dougherty of San Francisco.

"We in the past have had large family Thanksgivings, but we've kind of reduced that down in smaller groups. It gets to be a lot of work. We're ready to simply it a little bit," says Rich Wilson.  

As for the day after Thanksgiving, people say shopping and the tree lighting ceremony at Union Square are in their plans, but that those activities will come later in the day. Some mentioned they planned to start with a hike in the morning and spend time visiting with family.  

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