On Beauty: Is Thanksgiving Worth The Money?

As I am currently in the kitchen slaving away over Thanksgiving preparations (yes, I note the irony), into my inbox comes Joshua Gibbs on why Thanksgiving is worth the expense and hassle:

Thanksgiving dinner is a repository of many hours, many dollars, much thought and preparation and inconvenience. Every man who has spent north of a hundred dollars on Thanksgiving— not to mention the hassle of bringing relatives in, finding enough chairs and place settings for everyone and decorating the table— has surely entertained the thought, “If everyone stayed home and just ordered a pizza, we could saved a bundle, and I might have spent that time and money fixing the shed.” In other words, what if he funneled all the money spent on useless things into useful things instead? After all, white bread, peanut butter, and frozen mixed vegetables will fill stomachs just the same as prime rib, but at a fraction of the cost. Of course, this same logic is used to construct purely functional buildings which treat the occupants as though they have no souls— buildings which ultimately inspire the bitterness and cynicism of the vandal. When the vandal spray paints graffiti on the side of an ugly he building, he is actually protesting, “This building is false. I do have a soul.” If we trade the uselessness of a beautiful meal for a purely functional one, for a meal which merely keeps us alive, what exactly are we living for? What are we staying alive to do? Life cannot give itself meaning. A wedding ring only has meaning if it stands for a marriage, something which transcends mere jewelry. If life itself is the wedding ring, what is the marriage it stands for?

Seeing as our Thanksgiving festivities this year went easily north of $200, two thoughts sprang to mind. The first is that I need to get in on Gibbs’ frugal Thanksgiving game. $100 would be a welcome hosting expense. Second is that as usual, he makes an excellent point.

Despite that 36 hours from now, the leftovers will be in containers, the serving ware will be washed and put away, and the house will look much as it did before extended family filed in and out, the memories will remain. The sense of family and connection to the same will be bolstered in ways that caused us to forget any spats or differences from earlier in the year, and the meaning of what transpired will overshadow the uselessness of it.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!


7 thoughts on “On Beauty: Is Thanksgiving Worth The Money?

  1. Bike Bubba says:

    You must have some good parties. Only time I ever came close to even $100 was when I made a Turducken–the duck pushes the cost up. :^)

    Agreed 100% with Hearthie, too. This kind of thing is why God gives us those resources.


  2. Elspeth says:

    @ Bike:

    We do throw good parties, but I need to learn to let participants and guests contribute more than I do.

    Because we have so many dietary restrictions here (like real ones not fads) I have learned to cook modified traditional recipes so that they still taste like the originals. No one EVER notices the difference.

    Since I don’t trust anyone else to be able to do that quite like me, we bear 90% of the expense when we host and my family is big.


  3. hearthie says:

    I’m not sure how much we spent on TG dinner. Probably around $75ish for seven of us, with a lot of leftovers. There wasn’t much of a sale on the turkey, and I bought a 28lb bird, so that has a lot to do with it.

    Mom brought over the pie and some cranberry orange nut bread for dessert.

    Liked by 1 person

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