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What Time Do You Serve Your Thanksgiving Meal?

Growing up, when did your family sit down to Thanksgiving dinner? Do you still observe the same time as an adult, or have you changed?

I don’t know whether it’s a class or regional thing, but for my blue-collar western PA family, Thanksgiving was a midday meal. We only lived seven miles from my grandparents’ house, so each year would involve going to their house fairly early in the morning so my mother could help with the cooking, sitting around with my younger uncles watching the whole Macy’s parade while the turkey roasted, eating in the early afternoon, then spending a few hours playing outside with my cousins.

I still serve Thanksgiving at mid-day. I’d rather not be cleaning dishes and dealing with a turkey carcass long into the night.

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by Anonymousreply 2711/23/2020

Ours was more late afternoon - like 4:30-5pm, which is an early dinner, but you know it's going to go on for 2 hours. Eating at noon - I don't know how you pull that off with all the cooking and preparation and table-setting.

Of course everyone came over around noon and the guys went to watch football while the women busied themselves with cooking and gossip.

I never liked that automatic division of the sexes - it's like as soon as you opened the door, men went one way and women went another. See ya in a few hours!

by Anonymousreply 111/21/2020

Mid-dish day meal - 2-3pm. With booze. By late afternoon everyone takes a nap and eats leftovers late that night.

by Anonymousreply 211/21/2020

We usually eat around 2:00. Then at suppertime comes the best part: turkey sandwiches.

by Anonymousreply 311/21/2020

My mother didn't like to cook so we'd go to another family's house for Thanksgiving. This was in California in the 1960s and many people had left their traditional families back in the east and Midwest in order to find opportunities in the west, so new 'families' and traditions were created, which was great, since you got together with people you actually liked as opposed to people you felt obligated to see.

Because copious amounts of alcohol were consumed, dinner was around sunset, maybe 5 or 6. We'd arrive around 3 or 4, the men would watch football, drink and smoke, the women would gather in the kitchen, and the kids would play outside until it got dark. It's amazing nobody ever wrapped their car around a phone pole after too much drinking, although I do remember my mother, who didn't drink, would usually drive home.

A few years ago, my partner and I had a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who had no place else to go, and thirteen people squeezed into our little apartment. We ate at 7 and people were still here well past midnight. It was a lot of work but, for the first time since my parents died decades earlier, it felt like a real Thanksgiving.

As I got older, I'd hear people at work tell horror stories about family Thanksgivings, but my memories are all pleasant ones,

by Anonymousreply 411/21/2020

Late lunch usually, Between 2-3.30ish. A bagel or something around 9-10, then start preparing the meal with a glass of wine in hand.

by Anonymousreply 511/21/2020

R4 - I have to believe that the huge tanks people drove in the 60's and 70's helped to save some lives in accidents. God knows seat belts weren't used and drunk driving was normalized.

I remember when cars became smaller, my parents would have concerns about safety all the time. I still have concerns when I see cars like Fiats scooting around in the US world of SUVs and trucks.

by Anonymousreply 611/21/2020

I'm not a little child, so I dine in the evening.

by Anonymousreply 711/21/2020

But I'll eat ass or suck dick 24/7.

by Anonymousreply 811/21/2020

Growing up in the 1960s in NY, the Thanksgiving meal was always served between 12:O0 noon and 1:00 pm. It was at my Italian grandmother’s home in Jersey, and went on for hours because there were lots of courses. There was everything from a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner plus food from an Italian Sunday dinner — so, antipasto, soup, and pasta to start off. I’m not sure how we crowded the whole family around that table, but we somehow did. We would finish by 3:00 or 4:00 pm and then head home with leftovers.

In what was a quaint throwback to an earlier era, one of my aunts (who lived near my grandmother) had the turkey cooked at the baker’s around the corner.

Now, I prefer to serve Thanksgiving around 4:00 pm.

by Anonymousreply 911/21/2020

BTW, while searching for 1980s Thanksgiving pictures, I found this random family's photo album. This is exactly how I remember the early 80s. The horrible sweaters! The horrible glasses! Paneling! Good times.

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by Anonymousreply 1011/21/2020

R4 that sounds wonderful. I grew up in a very large, very Italian family. For us, TG started at around 11am. Most of my aunts (my mothers 6 sisters) and their families would arrive and each would bring appetizers (we called antipasto - or ante pasta (before pasta)) -everyone would visit and talk, drink wine and eat - cheeses and all sorts of meats, olives, deviled eggs - it was such a wonderful time. We'd light the fireplace and usually play Christmas music. My mother and aunts would be in the kitchen (so would I), kids outside, men downstairs in the "rumpus room" watching football and playing pool. You couldn't see anyone from the waist up because of all the smoke. Then around 1 everyone would sit down and have soup (my grandmothers wedding soup), followed by pasta, then roast beef, then turkey and trimmings, then salad - this would last for a couple of hours. It's funny, everyone ate very small portions of each thing - no one "pigged out". Then everyone would pitch in to clean up - again ladies in the kitchen and men downstairs. All the food was then set out on the table on the deck (enclosed screened porch) as there was no room in the refrigerator (it always seemed cold enough outside) - and everyone would go downstairs for dessert and coffee. Over the next few hours more family would arrive, brining more desserts, then everyone would make a snack with the leftovers and most would pack tupperware to bring some home. The day would wrap up late, around 9 or 10 pm. Now no one is left at all and it's sad. My husband and I have made new traditions, now we go to VT and dine with friends at a lovely Inn (not this year) - but I miss those days - also glad I had them.

by Anonymousreply 1111/21/2020

I foresee thanksgiving dying out as a tradition. People have to work, they live too far from each other, there’s too much road & air traffic to deal with for one meal, politics is causing family members to opt out of an unpleasant experience. It celebrates the arrival & survival of white Europeans over the native population who were then slaughtered. It’s a meal if met that vegetarians & vegans don’t want to eat; potatoes that are too high in simple carbs; wet string beans stewing in canned soup & crumbled, chemically manufactured onion rings. Kids don’t want to watch balloons bob around in some distant city on a tv screen - they want to play video games & text their friends.

People will come to their senses & not risk their lives & their mental health for tasteless bird meat, Aunt Jolene & her new husband wearing “We Been Robbed!” tee shirts who arrive by peeling off from a Trump motorcycle & truck cavalcade that passes by your house.

Christmas will also tone down as a holiday when people experience the relief not needing to shop for crap Secret Santa office gifts, that covid allows them to not appear at the dreaded annual office party & that they can avoid Aunt Jolene for the second time in a month.

by Anonymousreply 1211/21/2020

R12 - thank God I don't live in the world you live in. You must be the joy of every social gathering!

by Anonymousreply 1311/21/2020

R12 LIES. Americans are FAT WHORES and they will never give up Thanksgiving - a day when anyone can be a FAT WHORE - and Halloween - a night when any girl can be a CHEAP WHORE - two days without judgment!

by Anonymousreply 1411/21/2020

[quote] Now no one is left at all and it's sad.

I know the feeling.

Thanks for the stories R11, your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful.

I've always said that, no matter the culture, food=love. So many of our fondest memories involve family dinners, trips to the ice cream parlor to get cones on warm summer nights, backyard bar-b-q and old family recipes that get passed down through the years.

by Anonymousreply 1511/21/2020

R10 That looks like a right deplorable family Thanksgiving!

by Anonymousreply 1611/21/2020

R4 and R11 so sweet! I love that you shared your memories. They sound absolutely wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 1711/21/2020

Late breakfast in the morning.

A big early dinner, then either a walk, watching tv or napping.

Around 8:00 pm. hanging around my mother's dining room table eating leftovers.

by Anonymousreply 1811/21/2020

The Powells in East Moline are very Fargo.

by Anonymousreply 1911/21/2020

I love seeing Christmas photos in various eras & households where the tree is 2/3 decorated & they ran out of ornaments & lights & just said “fuck it. I ain’t going to the hardware store,” and left the bottom part bare with a few lights in a straight line going down to the wall plug.

by Anonymousreply 2011/21/2020

Good Lord, R12, you are a grim, depressing Debbie Downer. Not everyone has tRump-loving MAGAt family members to ruin their celebrations. Lots of people get together with family and friends they like very much. And, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to phase out Thanksgiving because of its origins except maybe the wokest of the woke.

by Anonymousreply 2111/21/2020

Definitely midday so everyone can can take a nice dump before bedtime.

by Anonymousreply 2211/21/2020

Thanksgiving was a big holiday for us growing up, because my family are Muslim immigrants. We are not religious but we certainly didn't celebrate Christmas. So, Thanksgiving was the only real holiday that we got to enjoy. Thanksgiving will probably evolve because of the changing demographics of this country, but I don't think it will go away.

by Anonymousreply 2311/21/2020

[quote] Not everyone has tRump-loving MAGAt family members to ruin their celebrations

Most Americans do, hon. They’re close to half the population. They’re sitting in county offices right now challenging every single ballot cast in the election. .

by Anonymousreply 2411/22/2020

I'm the Maiden Aunt Brigadeer who will argue that everyone who does not eat dinner at the same time my family does is trash! Absolute trash, do you hear me!!

Those are the people who use a electric knife to carve their turkeys!

The horrors!!!

[italic] Do not put that drink down without a coaster!!!

by Anonymousreply 2511/22/2020

[quote] And, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to phase out Thanksgiving because of its origins except maybe the wokest of the woke.

That’s only one small reason. The bigger reasons are — Americans don’t live near their extended families anymore, or don’t even know their extended families. It’s become too difficult to travel on traffic-choked roads and in overcrowded airports. Retail industry doesn’t want to give employees time off. Hospital workers already have to work on thanksgiving. Pretty soon all kinds of employers will let thanksgiving go the way of fulltime employment, a decent living wage and job security.

And what is anyone going to do about it? Pretty soon Fox TV & OAN will convince viewers that its Un American to want thanksgiving off. You’re an anti-business, jealous, rich-hating communist atheist anarchist if you try to force good, decent business owners to close because *you* want to sit on your butt & watch the game, stuffing your face with turkey. Grow up & go to work, like real Americans do.

It’s not your parents’ Thanksgiving anymore.

by Anonymousreply 2611/22/2020

The one good thing to come out of this pandemic is that stores are going back to being closed on Thanksgiving.

It was an idiotic trend that didn't generate any meaningful incremental sales (it mostly shifted sales from Friday to Thursday), but it sure ruined a lot of people's holidays when you either had teenagers rushing through dinner so they could get to their 5:00 shift at the mall, or all the frauen who grabbed their hats and coats to 'hit the sales' right after dinner. It was catnip for the local television stations who breathless reported on mobs of people ready to storm the doors at the local mall or Wal-Mart (and tragically resulted in people literally being trampled).

I'm an old geezer and I worked Retail for 40+ years. When I was younger, I loved the idea of a paid holiday (getting paid for doing nothing!) because the stores were all closed (and we opened 'early' at 9 am on Friday, thankyouverymuch).

About 25 years ago I moved into IT and my job was managing the support desk for the stores, which meant that, if the stores were opening at 5pm on Thanksgiving and staying open all night, we had to have people answering phones, so it was not only the store personnel whose holiday was ruined. I spent many all-nighters on Thanksgiving night trying to fix some IT issue while I could hear customers screaming on the other end of the phone because they couldn't buy some piece of shit they didn't really need (don't even get me started about the so-called 'Christmas spirit')

The irony for me is that, given the opportunity, there isn't a single person in the retail industry who would've gone near a shopping mall or department store on Thanksgiving had they not had to work.

by Anonymousreply 2711/23/2020
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