20 November 2006

What Thanksgiving?

I have been hearing a lot of whining about Thanksgiving. People don't like the food their family prepares. Or they don't like the hellish travel. But mostly, they don't like to spend time with their family members.

It has all become one big bloated food fest, where people gather for a few miserable hours, stuff themselves, nod off in front of a football game, then pack up to face the horrible holiday traffic on the way home.

Super Suebob is here to rescue your holiday from total drudgery and meaninglessness. I have a few suggestions on how to put some Thanks back into Thanksgiving.

For the repressed and WASPy among us (like my family): Tape a big sheet of butcher paper on the fridge. Butcher paper because it does not bleed through. Or regular thick paper if that is all you can find. Write "What We Are Thankful For 2006" at the top, and let people write or draw what they are thankful for as they wander into the kitchen to get drinks or snacks. You can save these and show them in future years.

Slightly more interactive: Get some pieces of paper or cards. Have people write or draw what they are thankful for. Take their picture as they hold up the signs. Make a flickr set. Share.

To keep the kiddos out of your hair, if you trust them with the digital camera: assign them to take photos of what they are thankful for. Upload the photos between dinner and dessert. Make a digital slide show.

And if you aren't a shy bunch and don't mind talking to each other: Place five kernels of dried corn on one side of each plate. If you can't find dried corn, use popcorn. This is to remind us that, during the first winter when they were dumbasses, the pilgrims got down to the point where they had only 5 corn kernels a person to eat. During the meal, go around the table, having people hold one kernel and say one thing they are thankful for. Go around five times, once for each kernel, so people will have given thanks for five things.

I hope this helps. I hate to think of everyone out there miserable, dragging themselves through a hated holiday. I think a little meaning can go a long way.


Sean Carter said...

Hey nice ideas to make Thanksgiving more interesting...this way people specially the younger ones can actually understand the significance of Thanksgiving...and hey also visit my Thanksgiving Blog sometime and find out some more cool ideas and suggestions...h=visit soon and have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea! Wish we were having it at my house this year. Unfortunately, it's off to the in-law's this year.

Peevish said...

Geez, the first para sounds like you were describing me [Mr. Stapler] to a T there: bad food, hellish travel, and family melts down during holidays.

The second para sounds like my dream situation though: the bloated food fest + nodding off + football. Now them's good times!

Janet Evening said...

We just wait for a food catastrophe or the oven to catch on fire... We have "orphans" thanksgiving for the gruntled curmudgeons on Saturday, and we air grievances as the entertainment. Very cathartic!

Waya said...

Those are great ideas SueBob! We'll be one of those travelers this Thursday for a 4 hour drive to see the in-law. I'm glad that to be going away actually, even if it's for the long weekend. It gives me some time off from cleaning, cooking and changing diapers. That's what grandparents are there for. Hee hee. Happy turkey day to you!!

Marcia said...

those are good ideas!

And. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love all the cooking, all the family... it's fun. And now that I usually do Thanksgiving with my husband's family, it's wonderful to see how they've let me add my traditions to theirs - my Italian family always has rigatoni, which was to us, more important then the bird, and I now make that and bring it to my in-laws, who love it.

Anonymous said...

Good calls - all of them.

While I loved the holidays as a child and teen, I grew to dislike them when it was just Kyle and me, trekking from coast to coast (no exaggeration) in an effort to please everyone. Since having kids, we have put our joint foot down - if our family wants to see us on the holidays, they come to us (and eat what we serve!). And for us - the holidays are now happy again.

ecogrrl said...

I've always loved Thanksgiving...it's my family's favorite holiday, and I think it still will be now that the family's expanded. It's always felt like the only holiday where it's all about family, friends, and love, instead of stuff, stuff and presents.

super des said...

Those are great ideas. Hopefully people will actually do them, and realize what they should be thankful for.

Good job, suebob!
(it rhymes, so you know it's true!)

ps - my word verification is
I think that's neat.

Anonymous said...

I like the paper on the fridge idea. As people get tipsy I can imagine the comments would get more and more funny.
"Aunt Martha is faaaaaaat."
Or "Cousin Jim is lazy and can't hold a job. And he's faaaaaat too" ,ha,ha..

Perstephone said...

These are great, great ideas! I'm really excited about Thanksgiving this year because I'm hosting my first one!!! However, I hope you're as full of ideas when it comes to celebrating Christmas without prozac.

Anonymous said...

I did write my anti-Thanksgiving post a few weeks ago however I prefer to think of it not as whining but rather a recording of my honest feelings about a holiday that makes me feel awful & sad 9 times out of 10.

Nonetheless, we are celebrating it and I will probably attempt the photo suggestion because it's a cool idea. Thanks :)

Carolie said...

How sad that people whine about too much food, the ability to travel to see family, etc. I'm half a planet away from my family, and my husband is on a ship and won't be home for T'giving (for political reasons that make me Very. Angry.)

But instead of "woe is me", I am all excited to be preparing a T'giving feast for my Japanese friends--foods they've never seen, traditions they've never experienced. They share their culture with me, and I love returning the favor!

They've never seen a whole turkey, and are FLOORED by the size of the bird. They have heard that it's appropriate to bring food for the table, and so we'll be having my family's traditional Thanksgiving feast, improved by a large bowl of a Japanese beef and konnyaku noodle stew. I can't wait!

Anyone who's bitching about the inconveniences of the holiday should consider all of those who wish they could be with family but can't, due to military service, or lack of funds, or simply the fact that their family is dead and gone.

Sorry for the rant...and thank you so much for the great ideas to help us each remember how well off we are!

Hums said...

We are having a relatively small amount of people this year, but I am asking them to write down two things about each person there, that they are thankful for. We will read then out loud throughout the day. It always seems to leave a better taste in your mouth than even the BEST pumpkin pie.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from THANKSGIVING in the mountains. I rented two large luxury cabins, high on a mountain top, with awesome views through the floor to ceiling windows, surrounded by trees and mountains, with all the amenities, big screens, pool tables, jaccuzis out on the decks, we all contributed to the rental-19 family members. I all had it all planned out months in advance - Thanksgiving Dinner together, along with other activities planned, dinners out,requiring reservations again months in advance, shopping, hiking, fishing, etc. I cooked my best soup recipe, w/salad and bread for 19 family member to eat as they arrived on Wednesday Night. I put up a family website,
with a message board, so everyone could gather information easily,
communicate, get maps, directions, meal plans etc.--Sounds wonderful doesnt it??? It was PURE MISERY, because of the complaining, complaining,complaining!!!! About,
the drive to the cabin, traffic in town, when would they eat, somebody being late for dinner, having to be a little quieter for family members w/babies, etc....
It was absolutely terrible I wanted to cry...I was thinking of sending an email about the meaning of Thanksgiving to the family...but I know I won't. Next year--only myself, my husband, my children...everyone else stay home...sorry for being negative.

Mocha said...

As usual...a day late and a dollar short.

I'm still going to do this. Just change it up a bit. Thanks for the inspiration!

Amanda said...

I did the flickr thing! Such a genius idea.


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