Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday. Although it has slowly become the invisible middle child between Halloween and Christmas, I think it is the best holiday out there. It is the only holiday where there is no expectation of gifts of any kind. It is also a holiday that focuses on the family slowing down, gathering together, giving thanks and enjoying each other’s company. In the spirit of slowing down, we chose to eat on Wednesday instead of Thursday.
Unfortunately, over the past decade, it has become the most stressful time of the year. If your family is anything like mine, the hustle and bustle of the holiday have definitely become draining and we don’t get to spend as much quality time with each other as we would like to. Thanksgiving has been overshadowed with Black Friday deals and football games.
The norm has become that on Thanksgiving, you would cook most of the day and if you’re the host, you’re prepping your home for the arrival of your extended family. Once the meal is ready, you gather to eat a ton of food right before a communal nap. Before you know it, your one day off of work has disappeared, leaving you with a house to clean and leftover food.
One year our family decided, that we just didn’t want to spend this holiday the traditional way. We wanted to do more than just cook, eat, nap, eat then nap again. So we switched it up and decided to eat on Wednesday, our traditional meal that is, thereby leaving our Thursday stress-free and available for family time.
Deciding to eat on Wednesday doesn’t lessen the quality of our Thanksgiving. Everything is the same, the décor, the food, the ambiance. I feel that our stress level is not the same as its a normal workday, and we just have to plan a big family dinner. Our dinner typically starts no later than 8 pm. This allows for some of our family that works until 5 pm to get in and get settled.
Benefits of this Tradition
Here are some benefits that we get from eating our traditional meal on Wednesday instead of Thursday.
- Stores are open. If we need something or if we forget to buy anything, we don’t need to scour the earth locating an open store. They are all open.
- We are able to just relax and enjoy each other company all day on Thursday.
- There is no rush to eat our meal to make it to a Black Friday line.
- We can enjoy the football game without any interruption.
- We are able to volunteer in a soup kitchen or just help feed a neighbor in need.
- No waking up early on our off day to prep and cook.
- We can accept an invite for a Thanksgiving meal with others.
- Leftovers! Thanksgiving leftovers are the best.
After 4 years of this tradition, I can honestly say we hit the jackpot. There is no turning back for us. It has brought our family so much joy to be able to genuinely have a day that is totally free and totally ours.
What do you do to spend more quality time with your family on Thanksgiving?