Hospitality, generosity and inclusion. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about, no wonder it’s a celebration we all look forward to … especially after avoiding anything to do with hospitality throughout most of 2020-21 due to COVID-19.
Many Americans are getting together after a 1-year hiatus to celebrate Thanksgiving. And some will be adding Friendsgiving to the mix. Friendsgiving is a get together with friends before Thanksgiving or instead of spending Thanksgiving Day with family – which reminds me of the 1997 Seinfeld Festivus episode. This year, 42% of Americans plan to host or attend a Friendsgiving celebration, which has become an increasingly popular tradition for 16-24 year old Gen Zs (56%) and 25-40 year old Millennials (59%).
“The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about? I don’t think so.” (Nora Ephron, American journalist, writer and filmmaker)
"We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives." (President John F. Kennedy)
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” (Musician Willie Nelson)
Concerns about supply chain shortages have resulted in more than 1 out of 3 Americans shopping early in order to avoid disappointment – stocking up on pies, baking products and beverages, while meat and side dishes are more likely to be purchased the week before or the week of Thanksgiving. Older households typically plan ahead, while younger ones are more likely to be last-minute shoppers; they are also more open to experiencing new traditions and brand-switching.
The size of the prize for the folks who supply everything that ends up on our Thanksgiving Day tables is a $2.2 billion grocery sales uplift.
American households waste a lot of food, especially around the holidays. About 40% of food goes uneaten each year, representing an annual $218 billion squander. That’s at least $1,500 thrown on the sidewalk by the average American family of four … and we haven’t even mentioned the environmental impact of this unnecessary bad habit.
Coming off COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, is it time for you to play your part -- to consider being less wasteful and more mindful as you make your Thanksgiving and/or Friendsgiving choices?
Here are 10 easy ways for you to step up:
- Buy local, reducing the carbon footprint involved in getting food from the farm to your table
- Bring reusable shopping bags to the market or grocery store. Avoid using the wasteful single-use plastic bags found in the produce department or used to contain meat/seafood when bagging groceries at the check-out counter
- Make food from scratch. Processed foods and food packaging contribute to your carbon footprint
- Avoid using paper towels. Use washable, reusable cloth instead
- Exercise portion control. To make your table look more plentiful, trick the eye by using smaller serving dishes that you can heap to the brim and make look very generous
- Use this really cool portion planner to avoid buying more food than necessary: https://savethefood.com/guestimator
- Avoid using plastic dishes and cutlery when entertaining. Consider compostable options if disposable is a must
- Use the dishwasher rather than hand-washing dirty dishes, but only if the machine full and avoid the unnecessary heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-wash features
- Use eco-friendly storage containers for leftovers. My preference is always glass. Waxed cloth instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil is a washable, reusable no-brainer
- I am a big fan of these folks, who provide tips about how to safely store food, how to cook with food scraps and food that is past its prime instead of throwing it out:
Thanksgiving Day traditions include football and other forms of entertainment. One cult Thanksgiving movie you shouldn’t be without is ‘Home for the Holidays’ (1995), directed by Jodie Foster, starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft and others.
Here’s an off-the-couch festive dance routine for y’all to try by Koo Koo Kanga Roo from Minneapolis, MN. We love it! Please post your moves on Instagram.
Why don’t you also include Quizefy trivia in your Thanksgiving and/or Friendsgiving plans? You can play Quizefy in single player mode, against a random or chosen opponent, or in group play. Our Thanksgiving Week Tournament started yesterday, but there’s still time for you to participate at no cost. The Tournament ends on Sunday, November 28th. All you have to do is play every day for the next 5 days. Check the Quizefy Tournament Scoreboard to see your daily performance vs. the World, and how you fare at the very end. Who ya gonna whoop?
I leave you with one final thought:
“What if today, we were just grateful for everything?” (Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz)
Now challenge yourself and your friends to our Thanksgiving Quiz, by downloading Quizefy from the app store if you haven’t already done so, then see how much you know and Strut Your Smart. Our Thanksgiving Quiz is only available today, then it disappears. We’ll be back again every Tuesday with a special blog posted at www.quizefy.com, along with a new trivia quiz on the same topic as the blog. Don’t forget to follow Quizefy in social media, so we can remind you of upcoming blog and quiz content.