Turkey Day

 Posted by at 12:07 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 182011

With the holidays fast approaching, I thought that in today’s blog we’d talk about Thanksgiving, which is less than a week away.

Fulltime RVers and RV snowbirds have a lot of options when it comes to celebrating the holidays, depending on their personal preferences, where they happen to be spending the holiday, and how much (or little) effort they want to put into it. Some get together with friends for dinner, many go to potlucks at their RV parks, some are fortunate enough to have family nearby that they spend the holiday with, and some go out to dinner.

I’ve been told that I’m weird (like that’s any news flash), because Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite holiday. It always has been. Even as a kid, I was never comfortable in large groups of people, and Thanksgiving always involved a lot of family and extended family showing up. The women were stuck in the kitchen all day cooking, the house was overrun with people, and then, after hours of preparation, we sat down at the table (which was loaded with food I really don’t care for), and everybody stuffed themselves to the point of gluttony.

Then the men drug themselves to the couch to watch endless football games on TV, and I don’t like watching ball games. Meanwhile, there was no rest for those same ladies who had worked so hard to prepare the meal; they were in the kitchen cleaning up afterward! I think I’d have liked Thanksgiving even less if I were a woman! The only one having a worse time than them is the turkey!

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I was a single parent for many years, and my son always thought it was cool that we threw a couple of steaks on the grill on Thanksgiving Day. In later years, I was just as happy to go out to a buffet somewhere, and let somebody else prepare dinner and clean up afterward.

Of course, now that I am married to the best cook in the world, things have changed. Even though we have dined out frequently on past Thanksgivings, this year we’re doing things differently. We have received several invitations to dinner, which we appreciate, but we plan to have a quiet day here at home, just the two of us. We both prefer white meat, so Terry wants to cook a turkey breast, and she’ll have some other goodies to go with it. And thanks to the wonders of satellite television, Tivo, and DVD players, I imagine I can find something to watch besides a football game. At least I hope so!

Yeah, I know, the holiday really isn’t about the food, it’s about taking a moment to be thankful for all that we have in life. But let’s be honest, for most of us, it’s the food. I don’t need a turkey to die, or a date on a calendar, to remind me that I have been very blessed in this life.

What Thanksgiving means to me, probably more than anything, is that it kicks off the four week period where I do everything I can to avoid a trip to WalMart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, or any other big box store. As I wrote in Tuesday’s blog about Golden Corral’s free dinner for veterans, I won’t even stand in line for a free meal. Do you think I’m going to do it to spend money?

So that’s my planned holiday. How do you plan to spend Turkey Day?

Thought For The Day – I’m a firm believer that sometimes it’s right to do the wrong thing.

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Nick Russell

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  20 Responses to “Turkey Day”

  1. You are right every social gathering HAS to have food. I wonder if people can get together and NOT have food or drink?

    We will be spending Thanksgiving dinner going out to eat at Chef Larry’s. We do love to eat there and they are having a special meal that day. We are going to go to the 11 am seating, eat lunch, return home and relax. Maybe even watch some football games as we do both love college football.

    I do not plan to do much shopping from Thanksgiving until Christmas as I don’t like crowds when I shop. For the small amount of shopping I do I have to go early in the morning, have my list, get in and out as soon as possible. I am not Bah Humbug. I LOVE Christmas. But Christmas to me is NOT about the shopping.

  2. Back when we first started full-timing, we spent Thanksgiving the exact same way you are this year. Best Thanksgiving we had!! We have done the potlucks at Livingston for years when we had a lot there and lots of friends, but it is too noisy to even talk.

  3. Thanksgiving Always Special to me as 41 years ago Thanksgiving day we crashed our Helicpoter in VietNam. Just a short 8 hours later (seamed like a week) we were picked up. Was I scared You Bet. I guess Thanksgiving is a day of rememberance, a good day at that. I still don’t Like Football.

  4. A family/friends pot-luck at the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. Then, if we haven’t had enough to eat, back to Paradise Island RV for their organized feast.
    I like Connie’s plan, too. Chef Larry’s is yummy.
    What’s Christmas shopping?

  5. For me, one of the worst things about Thanksgiving is, it is the beginning of the “CHRISTMAS MUSIC SEASON”, for crying out loud, how many times do you need to hear the 100s of way to sing Jungle Bells (including the dog version).
    Certainly not 5 weeks of it (IMHO).


  6. Thanksgiving for us will be spent with a few members of Katie’s family at her sister’s home. We’ll be spending the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in the same area and I’m hoping to have most of my shopping done online with deliveries made to her sisters house so I won’t have to go in the stores so much. I don’t mind the music as Christmas carols are really beautiful to me. But I don’t like hearing them as a shopping enhancers in stores earlier than Thanksgiving, which is what I heard in Walmart the day after Halloween. I’m guessing that there were a lot of other complaints because they stopped it a couple of days later!

    Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

  7. We usually head south right after Thanksgiving. That makes Thanksgiving also our Christmas. So we call it Thanksmas. The kids, and grandkids show up about 1:00. We have “Thanksgiving” dinner. After dinner, everyone helps to clean up. We then head to the living room and start Christmas. We open presents and , of course, the grandkids get video games, so out come the X-boxes, PS3’s, Wii’s and the games begin. You would not like it Nick. It gets very loud and busy around here. I love it! Around 6:00 we have Christmas dinner. More yummy food and more clean up. Everyone is required to bring food and help with clean up. No one, not even a male gets by without helping. It is a tiring day but in the end, I look back and smile with a warm heart knowing my family had a happy day. Then I fall into bed! zzzzzz,zzzzzz

  8. Nick…. are we related? Seems we feel the same way about Thanks Giving and Christmas shopping anyway 🙂

  9. We will go to Thanksgiving here at Treasure Lake, Branson, on Saturday. If that is not enough, we will be at Turkey Creek at Hollister next week and will have real Thanksgiving with them. When we drove by the park a couple days ago there were only about 6 rigs in there so it will be a small, family-size group.
    I’m ordering a pair of Teepee Creepers for Larry’s cold feet and that is my Christmas shopping. I love the season and enjoy it by staying out of stores.
    Of course, if it suddenly gets TOO COLD here in Branson, we will scurry south.

  10. We will celebrate with a small group of close friends with a meal for 10/12 that we men purchase ready to heat, slice and eat from a local store. The women do add a few things, but is has worked very well for the last half dozen Thanksgiving dinners and the gals have very little to clean up after we eat. Then games or cards and solving a few more of the worlds problems. lol

  11. Here at the Amazon Campbellsville workampers group there is a large group going to eat at a very nice place in town. I was invited but declined. I get off at 4am that morning and will sleep a few hours then drive about an hour to see a long lost cousin (one of the benefits of rving is reconnecting) and we will go over family history. I will sleep through dinner but she did promise to set aside a plate for me. No ball games or big gatherings. And I did all my shopping on line at Amazon.com!

  12. I feel the same as you, Thanksgiving has never been a great day. I’m not fond of any of the foods, including turkey. I didn’t know there was any one that felt like I do.

    As for Christmas, now that we’re on the move, everything is done online. No extra fees in the mailings to get it to us, then to the person. NO stores this time of year except the needed groceries. Thanks for a great post. I feel better then I’m not alone in my thinking.

  13. You described my childhood Thanksgivings perfectly (shudder!), minus the crazy drunk uncle who’d have screaming arguments with himself. 🙂 Steve and I will be going to our friends’ house for dessert after our own quiet, pleasant dinner together. And the “no presents for grownups” rule we all agreed to cut the Christmas shopping hassle in a big way. Aaaahhh…now I love the holidays!

  14. We will be with a small group of relatives and a few of their friends. About eight
    people. Nice.

    Thanksgiving weeks seems to mark the four week period of endless and stupid Christmas commercials. Who cares that “he went to Jared!”?

  15. We will be at a very small park that is going to have a nice dinner with all the trimmings for the about 20 people staying at the park. We will Skype with some of our family as they miss (we do, too) being able to get together as a family. No store shopping for us! Online makes it so much easier…..

  16. So far Charley and I are near family during Thanksgiving and so we do the family thing. We would like to be “on the road” during Thanksgiving and Christmas next year and try the approach you are planning for this Thanksgiving!! Enjoy!!

  17. We will actually have two thanksgiving this year. Tomorrow we are driving up to Austin to have dinner with our youngest son and his future wife. They both have to work on turkey day.This is the first time in 10 years for us to be together with him. We refused to go to St Paul Mn this time of year. Before we retired our oldest son took one holiday and I took the other We never had the family holiday on the day since both of us being nurses always worked. WE only shop for our three grand kids and that make it easy the two oldest just want a gift card. Marcuse still wants toys that Santa cannot bring. Our second turkey day will be here at Lone Star Corral with our extended family. Happy Thanksgiving to all

  18. Since we are back in NJ until after Jan 1, we will do what we’ve done the last several years when “home”. We will be cooking and serving dinner to the area’s needy. We used to do it at our church but this year it will be at the local Salvation Army building. We expect to serve more people that way as our church is in the outskirts of our neighboring town of about 18,000 where as the Salvation Army is in town.

    For years I cooked dinner and my daughers and their famlies would come late in the afternoon AFTER they had already had dinner at my ex-husbands. We figured why cook a huge meal for people who already had their fill, wasn’t it better to spend our time and energy for people who had no place else to go. We expect to feed about 150 people.

  19. The first holiday we spent on the road was Thanksgiving. We were in Livington, TX at the Escape’s headquaters. I was so far away from home but I had one of the nicest dinners ever with everyone at the club house. I do enjoy cooking, so this year and ever since we came off the road, we will be spending thanksgiving with Rockys parents. It’s nice to have family to share this time with, Even if they are only in our hearts. That is where you and Terry will be Nick, close to our hearts and in our thoughts.

  20. Thanksgiving, for me, has always been about family. Yeah, we eat a lot, but it’s a joint effort on everyone’s part to prepare food and clean up. The fun for me comes after the meal. Some sit around and watch football (both men and women–our family likes football). But a lot of the family sits down around a table, nibble a little on cheese balls and the like, and reminisce about family. As I am more than a little into family history, this is the highlight if the day for me.

    When I was a kid, we would sit around in my grandma’s or my great-grandma’s house and sing and play music. I didn’t know until I was a teenager that everyone’s family didn’t all play a musical instrument and/or sing together at holidays. And when I say sing, I mean in 4 or 6 part harmony. Those days aren’t completely gone in the family, but fewer of the younger ones (say 20-25 year-olds) are as apt to burst into song or even know how to play any instrument.

    So, you see, I am fortunate to have good memories of Thanksgiving. And of Christmas, for that matter. We no longer do big Christmas gatherings or buy tons of presents. We’ve all made Christmas a more intimate holiday, which works for all of us. I will be sad someday when the ones of my famiky who enjoy getting together are mostly gone or unable to get together.

    No matter how you spend your holudays, make them a time to stop and think about where you’ve been and where you’re going next year. Happy holidays!

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