Do you and your family and friends gather for a traditional Thanksgiving?
What does traditional mean these days during the holidays? Here are some common traditions and how to rethink what “tradition” means this year for our planet.
Turkey at Thanksgiving
We have all endured high food prices with inflation this year. We are paying 30, 40, and sometimes 50 percent more for the same products this year! The average turkey this year will cost about $1.99 per pound, up 73 percent from last year. Instead of turkey, does your family enjoy other main courses?
Consider lower-cost cuts of meat or vegan options, which also help the environment and our climate crisis. Have you considered enjoying vegetarian sides without meat for a main dish? A recent study in the United Kingdom states every meal without meat you save about 30 percent on your grocery bill. The ethical reasons to eat vegan are also important. Just consider the lasting effect for our children and grandchildren when you pass on turkey this year.
Shopping and Consumption
Shopping has changed over the years. I remember standing in line to buy a coveted gaming system or the “must have” toy for my kids. Deals for the holidays now start as early as October and feeds into society’s need for consumption.
I do not stand in line for anything anymore, especially for retailers to take my money. I think before I purchase. Again, consider the environment and the actual usefulness of a product before you buy it. Think about upcycling items to prolong their use. Finally, think about the money you save when you stop overspending and buying needlessly every holiday.
Time with Family
The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, is a time to be with your family. We picture Hallmark movies with happy endings. But, like real life, families are complicated on so many levels. You should never feel pressured to be with someone you don’t feel comfortable with, family or not.
You need to enjoy your holiday while still having boundaries especially from those who love you. So, what I’m saying is, it’s okay if you shake things up and try something new this year. Have Thanksgiving dinner at lunch time or celebrate on an entirely different day this year. If the weather permits, have your meal outside on the patio or better yet, at a close friend’s home. If there is a neighbor who is alone this year, invite them to enjoy your celebration.
The holidays should bring peace and comfort to you, not stress and chaos. Make a new tradition this year and take care of yourself in the process.