Manners Matter: Thanksgiving Conundrum

Dear Mary Pat,

Thanksgiving is almost here and we have a small group this year since our kids are with their in-laws. It’s our first year without our entire family and it seems like a lot of work to go through for just five of us. We thought of going out to a restaurant but my husband doesn’t think he can handle a Thanksgiving without my stuffing. I suppose change is inevitable and we will have to get used to sharing our kids with their in-laws every other year. Do you have any suggestions on how to simplify Thanksgiving?


Party of Five

Sister Bay, Wis.


Dear Party of Five,

It is hard to be split up for the holidays but that is how it goes with families who don’t live close by. It will be an adjustment, but you can still have a wonderful Thanksgiving. You can certainly scale your meal down by cutting a few sides off the menu or by making a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. There are also several local restaurants that have Thanksgiving meals that you can pick up and still enjoy at home. (And you can still make your own stuffing if you’d like.)

Or, why don’t you think about inviting some others to join you? If you like to cook and prefer more people around your table then see who doesn’t have a place to go this Thanksgiving. There are many people who don’t have large families or who can’t travel to be with them. Don’t assume everyone you know has plans already. Ask around and see if any of your friends or acquaintances can join you. As they say, the more the merrier. And even next year when your kids are home with you, it’s always good to add to your group. It’s a blessing to share the gift of hospitality with as many people as you can.


Good luck,

Mary Pat

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