How I Put The “Holiday” Back Into Thanksgiving

Feel like sleeping in Thanksgiving Day? Want somebody else to do the dishes? Want to experience the unbearable lightness of being that comes from not troughing down a series of 5,000 calorie meals in what amounts to a four-day food coma?

Back when I had the coffee shop here in town, I was always open for a few hours Thanksgiving morning. I joked with folks, “We all need some espresso when spending a day jammed packed with family in small rooms.” People smirked but then the humor turned into a sheepish, “I know what you mean.”

A few years ago my wife and I made a bold move. We announced to astonished family members that we were done with traditional Thanksgiving meals. It had become too much work. Figuring out who’s coming or where we’re going, shopping, prep work, getting up early, working through the holiday morning and the self-loathing of overeating not by a little.

We kind of looked forward to Thanksgiving but were also relieved to get it over with. At the end of the day, we were exhausted. It can be a tough day for a holiday.

We decided to walk away from the chore of Thanksgiving and reclaim the holiday part. My wife and I decided to (gasp) eat at a restaurant. We did and immediately felt guilty because there were people working to serve us on their holiday. We didn’t feel that way for long. In conversation with staff, at least at the places we’ve gone, they are working voluntarily. “It’s good money,” one waitress confided. My wife and I make sure to tip really big. We want this to continue.

(Imagine a Braveheart cry of “Freeeeeedom!”) Thanksgiving morning is now about swimming with the grandkids; maybe drying off for a walk if the weather cooperates. If not, legos always work. The meal itself is a one and done at our favorite place we love to return year after year. Get in, get out and get on with the day.

Instead of lying around in the afternoon desperately trying to digest enough to get our pants snapped, we have the energy for more fun if we wish, or not. We can just relax without a kitchen full of dirty dishes jeering at us. Gone are the days of extended stress before and after Thanksgiving Day.

We’ve enjoyed it so much that now the extended family we left behind has followed along and joined us in our yearly non-traditional celebration. We spend some morning time together, go eat the meal and go our separate ways. Extended family in small doses – what everybody wants but is afraid to say.

We love it.

There are a few Dexter area restaurants open Thanksgiving Day, but make your reservations quick! Others are in on the secret.

Carlyle Grill: Classic American Comfort Food located on Jackson Rd in front of Quality 16 Theaters.

Quarter Bistro: New Orleans Inspired Cuisine located in Westgate Shopping Plaza

Weber’s Inn: Fine Dining located on Jackson Rd just past Varsity Ford.

Food Zone: Chinese Restaurant located in the City of Dexter.

Holiday’s: All-American Comfort Food located on Stadium Dr across from Ann Arbor Post Office.

However you spend it, Happy Thanksgiving Dexter!

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