Skip to content

A Faux Thanksgiving

A Tempting Proposal

It all began with good intentions.  Randy knew I worked hard on Thanksgiving day (not to mention the weeks leading up to it) and he wanted me to relax and enjoy the holiday.  I taught school at the time, and the four-day vacation surrounding Thanksgiving was not a break from my hectic schedule.

“Let’s go out to eat this Thanksgiving,” he blurted unexpectedly a few weeks before the big day.  “We can skip the preliminary planning, the shopping, and the full day of cooking.  And we won’t have to figure out how to get the leftovers in the fridge.”  He shouldn’t have mentioned the leftovers.  That’s my favorite part.

Randy was clever with his timing.  His proposal came on a day when I was exhausted and cranky from dealing with second-graders.  His suggestion gradually transitioned from absurd to enticing as the holiday approached.  One week before Thanksgiving, I embraced the offer, grateful I didn’t have to purchase a turkey or a pomegranate, two items I buy only once a year.

No Favorite Pie?

The fourth Thursday of November came without fanfare or stress.  After watching the Macy’s Day parade (for the first time sitting), the family climbed into the car with varying amounts of enthusiasm.  It was uncharacteristically silent as we drove to an all you can eat buffet.  Promising a movie to follow our meal made little difference in the existing mood and I sensed disaster in my hasty decision to change years of tradition.

The Thanksgiving buffet offered many choices but didn’t come close to the savory, homemade delicacies that took hours to prepare.  Feeling physically rested didn’t compensate for the joy I missed serving my family.  Unlike past Thanksgivings, I didn’t rise early to dress the turkey or bake eight different pies to cover everyone’s favorite.  Instead of a morning filled with the laughter of family working together in the kitchen, we all sat in a cold restaurant filling our stomachs, void of conversation or smiles.  I was surprised how much I missed the mounds of dirty dishes and the football game blaring in the background.

More Than a Feast

Why did I feel hungry sitting in the crowded theater watching a newly released Christmas movie?  Pondering the day’s events, I discovered the reason for my emptiness.  Thanksgiving is more than a meal with all the right foods.  Thanksgiving is a day to demonstrate gratitude and loving service.  It is when time is spent together, cooking, playing, and talking.   It is the season we give thanks for a year of prosperity and blessings, the reasons behind the First Thanksgiving.

As we entered our home late that evening, absent were the smells of sage dressing and pumpkin pie.  Gone was the need to browse through my recipe box of twenty different ways to fix leftover turkey.  Missing were the anticipated meals of turkey sandwiches on day-old rolls.  The fridge was void of fruit salad with brown bananas and gooey marshmallow-topped yams.  We might as well have slept through Thanksgiving, and even though my feet weren’t throbbing, and the kitchen sparkled, I vowed we would never skip it again.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I know, going out is just not the same. I am so thankful for friends who have invited us in years past, and even this year. The last couple. Of years we just spend the day with each other. My kids all go to their in-laws so Rick and I head to I-Hop and always leave the server a big tip. This practice comes from the days when I had worked on Thanksgiving as a waitress/server and told myself that I’d always leave a big tip if I had good service. Here in Virginia we usually share the experience with cultures who do not celebrate our holiday. They look at us strangely because we are the only white frayed haired people around. Come Friday we have the kids come to our house to have a Thanksgiving feast, because like you, I love the leftovers. Have a Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by all your love ones.

    1. It doesn’t matter if you feast the day of, or the day after! At least you are getting together with family, enjoying the rich blessings that are so abundant in our lives!

  2. We did that once too -in California- with Denny’s whole family. Never again! It’s not Thanksgiving without leftovers!

    1. So much effort goes into making Thanksgiving dinner that it has to be savored as long as possible! Love those leftovers!

  3. When we have to go to someone else’s house, I make a turkey and all the trimmings anyway…. Just for the leftovers!

    1. Thanksgiving dinner was meant to be enjoyed for more than one day! It’s definitely worth the effort to prepare it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top