Thanksgiving could be a time to strip away all of the superfluous stuff in our lives, and get to what is really necessary. It could be an opportunity to spend meaningful time with the people who mean the most to you. Eat together, talk, and laugh together. Spending three hours in the kitchen, or in front of the television watching football isn’t “meaningful time”.
These days Thanksgiving is about cooking huge meals, over-eating, and getting “good deals” on Black Friday. This is the opposite of showing “Thanks” for what you have. One doesn’t show gratitude for what they have by purchasing more things. It’s backward. I like a good Turkey as much as the next gal, but I am not about to go out and buy a 22 pound bird and all of the trimmings just because it’s a holiday. I can celebrate with less and feel better about myself in the process.
I’m not trying to get anyone to shun Thanksgiving. I’m hoping to get folks to think about the way they celebrate. Does your Thanksgiving revolve around spending money? Are you planning a new outfit? Are you buying new serving platters, food, or decorations? Are you preparing twice or three times the amount of food you really need? In order to celebrate Thanksgiving in a thoughtful way, we need to begin with ourselves.
Try starting some new traditions that support your lifestyle. Try hosting a Thanksgiving potluck. We did this in Prague a lot. People brought something to eat, and a plate and silverware! We didn’t have enough plates, bowls, spoons etc, so instead of spending money on new stuff, we asked people to bring their own. It was great fun, and there were hardly any dishes at the end of the night.
Another good idea is to eat out. Choose a nice restaurant (Sorry, Chili’s doesn’t count) that has a prix-fixe meal. Each person is responsible for their own meal, and split the cost of the booze. Doing this make the meal much more relaxing, and often times can end up costing less than hosting it at your home. The best part is there is no mess, no dishes, and no folks sticking around long past their welcome.