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Americans to mark holiday with family, festivities

Published On: Nov 22 2012 06:15:45 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 22 2012 06:17:47 AM CST

(AP) - Expect plenty of tradition today with turkey, all the trimmings, family gatherings and Thanksgiving Day parades, including the Macy's extravaganza in New York City.

This year, Macy's familiar giant balloon lineup welcomes newcomers Elf on a Shelf and Papa Smurf, along with a new version of Hello Kitty.

For many big retailers, it's a chance to move Black Friday into Thursday to get a jump on the holiday shopping season. And there's a healthy serving of the National Football League on the burner as well.

Some family reunions might be bittersweet, however, because of the damage and displacement caused by Superstorm Sandy. Volunteers in the northeast are planning to serve thousands of turkey dinners to people Sandy left homeless or struggling.

Airports, roads and train stations could also see some busy periods as the last of the travelers reach their destinations.