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Planning for Thanksgiving in July

I was thinking about Thanksgiving the other night. Actually, it went beyond thinking. I planned for Thanksgiving the other night – full blown organizing a menu, sketching out a timeline, and wondering where I stored my large serving platter. It was odd, thinking about Thanksgiving in July.

Then I realized why.

I need to plan something – anything fun – a party, a dinner, an outing or event. This pandemic has forced large social outings to stop. I miss hosting my friends and family. No football games, holidays, summer parties, or outings.

So I’m planning Thanksgiving now, in July. Maybe I’ll throw in a little Halloween while I’m at it.

A return to tradition

Over the past several years, my traditional Thanksgiving menu drifted. I tried some new dishes, grilled bacon wrapped asparagus, baked apples, ham, and pasta. This year when planning for Thanksgiving, I decided to return to a fairly traditional Thanksgiving menu. We’ll have a roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, baked corn, and honey glazed carrots. Family and friends will bring desserts and appetizers. I’m already looking forward to it!

My family is large, seven children, 10 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and misc. husbands, boyfriends & girlfriends. Holiday dinners mean cooking for 20 – 25 people at a minimum. I love it and plan every detail including a timeline for food, preparation, decorations, serving dishes, and activities. I completely geek out and put it all into a spreadsheet that I reference throughout the day to keep on track. My daughter and siblings used to poke fun at my spreadsheet but not anymore. It works.

What will Thanksgiving Look Like in 2020?

I doubt there will be a Macy’s Day parade on TV or football games to watch. We won’t be preparing to rush the mall on Black Friday or attend a church dinner. Will we be able to get our families together to celebrate? 25 people sounds like a large crowd in the era of Covid-19. Can we even plan Thanksgiving this year?

Perhaps we need to rethink Thanksgiving and remind ourselves what it is truly about. Gratitude. It is a day to be thankful, and grateful, for all that we have. Maybe this will be the year that we refocus on the holidays instead of getting caught up in the commercialization of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think it’s fair to say that many people lost site of what is important in life over the past few decades. It’s become a whirlwind. For so many of us, the day to day rat race trampled out tradition, family, community, and moral foundation. Perhaps the kick in the ass that 2020 provided will set us back on track.

This year when we plan for Thanksgiving, let’s focus on being grateful and enjoying our loved ones this holiday season. Remember your traditions or start new ones. Reignite the charitable spirit of the holiday and teach your children and grandchildren to do the same. With a little planning and preparation, Thanksgiving in 2020 may be the best one yet.

Happy Thanksgiving (in July).

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