This I Believe

Cara - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on April 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Turkey Tastes Better at 12 p.m.

I believe in eating Thanksgiving dinner at noon. It’s not that I think all dinners should be eaten at noon, it’s because Thanksgiving dinner is that much better when it’s eaten at noon.

Four years ago, when I went to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family and friends for the first time, I was amazed with what I saw. Dinner time wasn’t until 7:30! Even more strange was, when every one was done eating dessert, they all said goodbye and went their separate ways, not to meet up again until Christmas dinner (which was also held in the same manner). After that night with my husband’s family and friends, I told him how incredibly odd it seemed to me. When asked why I felt that way, the only answer that I could come up with was, “It just was.”

The question began to puzzle me as the years went past, alternating Thanksgiving dinners between noon and 7:30. What was it that made 12:00 p.m. the perfect time for eating turkey with cranberry sauce and rolls? I wasn’t ever particularly hungry around noon, so that couldn’t be it. It wasn’t that I felt more thankful at noon than I did at 7:30, but there was definitely something more appealing to me at noon. What could it be? The answer finally occurred to me as I ended another 7:30 Thanksgiving. It felt so impersonal and so cold.

This is why I believe in eating Thanksgiving dinner at noon: when our noontime dinner is over, the fun can really begin. The men rush off to their respective places on the couch to watch highlights of the football games. The women wrap the food and do the dishes, trading funny stories. This is a very crucial time for sharing information about Black Friday sales and for creating 5 a.m. shopping parties. Children run off and find something to get into until the announcement comes over all the commotion; “Pie!” A line forms out of the kitchen and down the hall to get a slice of confectionary heaven. After pie, there is time for games and stories. Whether the stories are funny, sad, or scary, it doesn’t matter as long as every one is crammed into one room, listening intently. This is why I believe in eating Thanksgiving dinner at noon.

By the time we have all grown tired of games and stories, our bellies have begun to growl. The women flock back into the kitchen and leftovers begin to pour out of the refrigerator along with rolls and condiments for delicious turkey sandwiches. Then we sit and talk some more. As the night closes in, people begin to leave, one group at a time, giving sincere goodbyes and making plans for future visits.

What I really love about Thanksgiving dinner at noon is my friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, eating massive quantities of food is great, but getting to spend quality time with the ones I love is even better.