Time to Eat

Growing up my mom liked to serve Thanksgiving dinner during early afternoon, like around 1pm and it drove me bonkers.  Who wants to eat a heavy meal that early in the day?

Not me.

On TV you always saw these big elegant Thanksgiving dinners.  Huge sit-down affairs with wine bottles littering the table, decorations out in full force, and the good China sparkling away.  This is what I wanted.  An elegant candlelit dinner.

When Scott and I started having our own Thanksgivings this is exactly what I planned out.  Elegant evening meals with wine and candles and pretty plates.  Do you know what I found out?

Doing that is a pain in my butt.  You spend all day cooking, you end up eating late, and then you still have to clean up!  It’s 8pm before you’re sitting down to relax for the day.  I had enough of that real quick!  I thought back to childhood and realized maybe my mom knew what she was doing.

I switched tactics and started providing us with an early dinner, around 2pm is what I shoot for.  This means we can have a relaxed morning and nibble on some goodies for breakfast.  Then I get started making the big dinner.  By the time eating is over and the kitchen is cleaned up, I still have the entire rest of the day to do whatever I like.  When we get hungry again, we just have to heat up leftovers and not worry about messing up the kitchen.

Now that’s my kind of holiday!

Of course I still get out the good China and light candles.  We still have wine while having a very calm and fancypants dinner.  We don’t feel rushed or feel like we’re eating way too late.  It ends up being the perfect plan for us.

How about you?  Are you evening eaters or do you enjoy an earlier meal?  Has it always been that way or did you create your own tradition?

11 thoughts on “Time to Eat

  1. That must be a PA/Ohio tradition because my family does the same thing! In fact, it actually works out since I have divorced parents because they have meal times at different times of the day. It doesn’t work out for me in the sense that I am pretty much eating all day long. I hope to not over do it this year! I also SO look forward to having my own family Thanksgiving someday – my way!

  2. Heidi says:

    My family has always eaten around 2 pm. I like eating the big feast then because my body has time to burn off some of that food. I don’t like eating a big, heavy meal in the evening and going to bed feeling stuffed. I agree that it’s also nice to have the rest of the day to visit and relax.

  3. I like to eat early in the day so I can lounge the rest of the day!! Football all day for me! We are eating early tomorrow since we are eating out that gives us all day for restin’ and relaxin’

  4. Funny that Rose mentioned it being a PA thing. Christmas and Thanksgiving ‘dinner’ has always been lunch and my mom is from PA also. I kinda like it that way though. I generally prefer the leftovers later that day to the big meal

  5. Growing up, we always had multiple meals in the day – for Thanksgiving and Christmas – since both sets of grandparents lived in town. So I got used to be stuffed all day. Now, I enjoy an early lunch (1:00 or so) so I don’t go to bed feeling stuffed.

  6. My parents have always made Thanksgiving dinner around 4 or 5. It’s awesome. Sometimes we’ll start with appetizers around 2 or 3.

    My ex-boyfriend ate around 11am! CRAZY!

  7. Your table looks awesome! We’ve always had T-day early in our family, about 1pm. It actually worked out really well after Dan and I got married because his family does the evening thing so we can make it to both. My family is the big free-for-all, almost picnic style, sit where you can find space. His is a more formal, candlelight and wine. So we end up getting a very diverse holiday with lots of food!

  8. I’m from the Chicago area originally and my extended family is from Iowa, and we also eat around 2 on TG – better for eating leftovers the same day! :) Plus, you don’t have a full day of eating leading up to the big meal.

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