Have you ever polished off the fried onions on top of green bean casserole, fished to get the crumbs out of your blouse, tugged at the Spanx that are rolling up, and anticipating the time for another Tums because your anxious stomach is sure to blow?
Welcome to my perception of Thanksgiving.
The question I get asked the most is about Thanksgiving. I am an open book about how Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday, which seems to offend some people.
Let me clarify: I love the concept of Thanksgiving, the purpose behind it, and seeing so many that I love – but I hate what the day has turned into.
At some point in my life, I became the pickiest person alive. Not because I was banning carbs, sugars, or unhealthy foods from my life – but because my taste buds changed. Now, all I wanted was fries, chicken fries, hot fries, and strawberry shortcakes.
When I went to Thanksgiving, I would scarf down the green bean casserole, shovel in the cream pie, and eat the corn casserole faster than people slide their credit cards on Thanksgiving.
I was content with these food items; however, I could only indulge once or twice. Unlike others, I pretty much disregard leftovers (terrible habit), but I get sick of food quickly. Except for fries, obviously.
Once I got into college, my body was like,
“You like milk? Sad story, bro. Now, you’ll gag when you taste it, run to the bathroom between thirty-minutes to two-hours, and miss the good ole days.”
My lactose intolerance isn’t too severe. I can still have a little and be okay. However, it is hard to measure how much is tolerable. On Thanksgiving, I don’t want to push it with green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, or creamed pies because who knows where I’ll be or if I’ll be in the car!
On Thanksgiving, there is so much traveling. Everyone seems to have three-five Thanksgivings, drive time, time to get ready, etc. It makes it merely impossible to spend decent periods at each Thanksgiving, which rattles my anxiety and people-pleaser side.
All these Thanksgivings tend to be around the same time on the day, and then friends want to go Black Friday shopping.
At what point in that day will I have time to grab a coffee!
Many argue my feelings toward Thanksgiving, but those who experience similar struggles agree. A holiday that is intended to celebrate our lives, make our hearts warm with gratitude, and bring us together tends to be stress-filled, beyond busy and rushed.
For those of you who adore Thanksgiving, but want it to be less stressful, and are wondering
So, Like, Now What!?
Here are some alternatives to the traditions:
Thanksgivings seem to begin around 12:30 or 1, which makes for plenty of room for a brunch.
A mimosa bar, a light breakfast – maybe it’ll be warm enough to pull out the grill – and some laid-back chatter.
While everyone is unwinding, their stuffing can be in the oven, and they can head back home for a power nap or to freshen up!
This would be perfect for intimate families who may see each other throughout the day but have entirely different schedules. This allows them to spend time together and prepare for the day ahead.
This idea would work best on Black Friday or the weekend after Thanksgiving.
All the men could bring their beer, get some pizza or bring leftovers. There would probably be some sort of game on that all of them would love ‘bro-ing out’ to!
The women could all bring their favorite bottle of wine and an item for a charcuterie board. The wines could be lined up, and the food could be set on a counter lined with craft paper.
This would create a winery atmosphere where everyone could chat or shop while sharing sales and bargains.
Thanksgiving on A Different Day
If you want to keep Thanksgiving exactly how it is but make sure more people can attend, here are some different days.
A week and a half before during the weekend. This would be far enough away that it wouldn’t stress the guests out, and they’d likely be able to stay the whole time!
The first weekend in November. This would probably be open for most, and the weather would likely still be nice. Maybe you could grill the turkey – is that a thing?
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I attended a gathering, and almost everyone invited came. This idea seemed to work very well with everyone’s schedule!
Black Friday would be a great day to host Thanksgiving, especially since there is a pandemic, and most will be shopping online.
The weekend after Thanksgiving would be great too! You could even have a leftover party if you don’t like having leftovers.
If you aren’t a huge fan of Thanksgiving food, especially since it is usually present a month later, here are some alternatives:
A dip party where everyone brings different dips! There could be buffalo chicken dip, hazelnut spread, hummus, everything spread, cheese balls, regular chips and dips, and so many other Pinterest finds. This would be filling, and something people would probably enjoy planning!
A stir fry gathering, where there are different noodles and rice’s, various meats, vegetables, and sauces. This would be like a Flat Top Grill atmosphere – only the food would already be cooked, and it would be added to a bowl – extra points to whoever can make that bread.
An Italian theme! There could be delicious rolls, boring salads, several different pasta’s, and maybe pizza. Of course, there would be wine, too!
A wing theme! This would be a favorite for many people and children! There could be wings, fries, hamburgers, maybe fried vegetables, and beer. Everyone loves a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings, Wings Etc., or Applebees – this would be legendary, mostly because whoever didn’t want to cook could order a side from a restaurant.
A soup gathering. There could be different kinds of breads, salad options, and everyone could bring their favorite soups. I love a good chili, potato soup, or any other soup!
Chinese food is good for the soul, so having Chinese food at a Thanksgiving would be delicious!
If the only thing you want to ditch is the turkey, go with meatloaf, a brisket, or a pot roast. These are all beyond tasty and would stay fall-themed.
No matter what you do this Thanksgiving, remember not to be too stressed, to thank God for the life he’s given you, to not worry about calories, and to treasure your time with everyone.
Happy almost Thanksgiving!