Why So Tradiational With Thanksgiving?

With all the talk in the newspapers and on blogs this week about Thanksgiving, much of it seemed focused on traditional meals, and what constitutes a Thanksgiving dinner.  Well this year there will not be a turkey on our table.  There hasn’t been mention on cranberries in all our talk of menus.  Stuffing, it was decided, must be included.  However, at the request of, well, me, all sides must be vegetarian. Which means the stuffing will be made with apples instead of sausage, vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

To replace the turkey, Peter is roasting a whole fish.  Something he seems to enjoy doing, and I just can stand to watch.  But it was a great compromise.  I’ve never been a huge fan of turkey or the much else of the traditional meal, except for stuffing and rolls (which will not grace our table this year).  I also struggle with the massive over eating that happens.  I am determined not to do that this year. 

I read in the Washington Post the other day how the first Thanksgiving actually would have been more like a 500 calorie meal.  Makes sense though – if they are celebrating barely surviving their first year in America, how much are they really eating?  Much of what we think of as traditional Thanksgiving foods would not have been seen at the first Thanksgiving either.  So because we’ve been eating them as part of this meal for over a hundred years we need to keep doing it?  What else have we done the same over the past 100+ years?  Think about that for awhile.

It’s time we did things differently.  It’s time to stop sitting down to overly sized meals, but share some of that food with those who can’t afford to do this.  With unemployment so high, and so many people struggling from paycheck to paycheck, why not help out someone who could really use it?

Tradition is in the eyes of the beholder.  Is it more important what you eat or who you spend the meal with?  Think about this as you rush off to your meal, or stress in the kitchen about something burning and something not cooking at all.  Besides, if everything went perfectly, how else would we get holiday stories to share in the future?

Remember this is a day of thanks.  It’s about family and community.  The holiday was not created to all everyone a free pass on unhealthy eating habits or to give us a jump start on holiday shopping (which I’ve already started!).

This year I am thankful for the little things:  a job, my health, family and friends and a wonderful home to go to at the end of each day.  What are you thankful for this year?

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