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Monday, November 21, 2011

Choosing Your Thanksgiving Focus

handprint turkey

I have been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving. What is our focus on Thanksgiving? We all talk about it being about Giving Thanks, but for so many it is about eating and gorging ourselves, watching football and preparing for Black Friday sales. For me football and Black Friday are not big Mostly about the amount of food that is prepared and wasted. Yes wasted. It seems that That’s right – how much food is wasted. I have been thinking about how much food is eaten too. It seems that Thanksgiving has become more a holiday of gluttony and less about giving Thanks. We normally eat a turkey a week this time of year, so by Thanksgiving turkey has been done a couple of times. In some families, Thanksgiving means not not only turkey but ham and sometimes lasagna. It seems the bigger the gathering the more food there is . I know that when I am going to a potluck I bring enough food for my family to make an entrĂ©e out of and a dessert.
So what can we do to make Thanksgiving less about feasting and gorging ourselves?
  • Eliminate dishes you do not need to make. Only make your family’s favorite dishes. If your family does not like sweet potato casserole don’t make it. Just because it looks good in the magazine does not mean you need to make it.
  • Stick to the basics – at  bigger Thanksgiving gatherings, make what people expect. Most people want to see stuffing, turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans. My family used to make more dishes but not everyone liked all the vegetable dishes. It had just become a tradition.
  • Make Less Food –Consider the portion size, do you really need a 20 lb. turkey when a 12 will do? Do you need to cook 10 lbs. of mashed potatoes? I know if you are the hostess you want to make sure that no one goes away hungry or that everyone gets their favorite dish. One question – Have you ever seen anyone walk away from the Thanksgiving dinner hungry?
  • Change the emphasis – If Thanksgiving is about giving Thanks, find ways to do that with your family and in your community. Go help out with a food outreach, Invite the lonely to Thanksgiving. If you live in a college town ask your local college if there are any students who can’t go home for Thanksgiving. Visit those who have to work for Thanksgiving, firemen, policemen, take them some pie or other dessert.
  • Help out Those Less Fortunate than You – Go work at a soup kitchen for a few hours on Thanksgiving. Help hand out turkeys the day before at a Food Bank. 

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