Google has started celebrating Thanksgiving just a few days before the rest of us.
The interactive, holiday-themed Google doodle is based on the "hand turkey" drawings that are a Thanksgiving tradition in elementary schools across the country.
"Creating hand turkeys remains one of my favorite elementary school memories—glue on the table, colorful feathers stuck to your sleeve and glitter everywhere," wrote "doodler" Willie Real in a post on Google's blog. "This year, you have the option to skip the actual mess involved with making these classic Thanksgiving decorations and craft a unique turkey from the comfort of the Google homepage."
You can customize Google's turkey by clicking its head, feathers or feet, or click its wing to see a random "look." Accessories include a George Washington-like wig, a pirate's pegleg, rollerskates and a blue winter cap. Want to send a link to the turkey you create? As noted above, users can share their personalized turkeys by clicking the "G+" or "link" buttons on the doodle.
A Google spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that the turkey does not have a name, but hinted that the bird has 12 "surprises."
"If you get some of the combinations a certain way, some fun things happen!" the spokeswoman write in an email to the Huffington Post. (If you've found the surprises, let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @bbosker. Include a link, if you've got it!.)
Google has used the doodle not only to mark the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, but also as an occasion to showcase its Google+ social networking service, which enjoys prime placement on a logo that's seen by millions of Google users each day. Just under the turkey, Google has featured a red "G+ share" button that allows users to post a picture of the turkey on Google+, or prompts users to create an account on the social network if they haven't already. Next to it, there is also a yellow "link" button that allows people to share a link to the turkey they've created.
Google has also been using its Chrome web browser to advertise the company's Chromebook computers. When users open a new tab in the browser, a yellow banner appears across the top of the blank page with the message, "Get a Chromebook for the holidays: the computer powered by Chrome," along with a link to a site where the computer can be purchased.
See Google's Thanksgiving doodle in the video below.
UPDATE II: @ayeTONNU has compiled a link of the 12 "surprise" turkeys, which you can see here. Thanks to @ShainaRue, @KellyBrouse and @FrugalInVegas for their turkeys, as well. You can check out their finds here, here, here and here.
You like that? Check this out! It's the best Google Doodles ever made: