No shortage of Thanksgiving advice


November 27, 2019

If you’re going to visit family for Thanksgiving in Denver or Dallas, about six hours away each, don’t leave on Wednesday. (I apologize if you’re reading this for the first time on Black Friday.)

This according to Mental Floss magazine. Better to be in motion before 6 a.m. on the actual holiday, Mental Floss says, because traffic is lighter both in the country and city on the actual holiday.

When I was a commuter in the Los Angeles area, the home-bound Wednesday-before drive could take three hours. The distance was 35 miles, and now I know I could have made better time on a bicycle.

There is no shortage of advice about making the best of Thanksgiving in less than ideal circumstances. Turkeys aren’t the only ones for whom Thanksgiving can be a disaster.

People who would rather reprieve the turkey sometimes dread the holiday, too.

There is no law that says you have to have turkey on Thanksgiving. President Trump has not even tweeted such a suggestion. Yet.

A website called Food and Wine suggests alternatives like honey-bourbon glazed ham, which may also result in a bourbon-glazed cook; spiced coriander and mustard crusted rib roast of beef, for which I would eliminate everything before “rib roast;” and spice-rubbed salmon with herb and pomegranate riata. First, look up “riata.”

The New York Times suggests alternatives like roast lamb, twice-cooked pork tenderloin (I second both), garlicky beef tenderloin with orange-horseradish sauce (I’ll begin and end with “beef tenderloin”); roast chicken provencal (with certain veggies you can’t get around here); and timpino (First, look up “timpino.”)

Or you can find something you like and cook that instead of, or along with, the hated bird. That’s my advice.

There is advice for dealing with family. recommends group-volunteering for a community service, walking outside, and spending Black Friday with the family at home, among other things. Oh, and no booze.

A site called has advice for dysfunctional family holiday gatherings that includes lining up co-conspirators to help keep the peace, giving the nastier relatives an assignment that plays to their preferences or vanities, inviting an outsider to keep family on their best behavior, and finding diversions for the kids after dinner. Oh, and no booze.

Forbes magazine ran a list of things “successful” people do to make Thanksgiving enjoyable that I think could even benefit dismal failures.

These include being nice to fellow travelers, since holiday travel is rough on everybody; avoiding all regular job work on the holiday; helping with the cooking; getting fresh air; and focusing on the bigger picture with hot topics.

That last one needs some explanation.

What it says is that if someone declares, “the Ukraine conspired to overthrow our democracy,” and you see frown lines around the table you can respond with, “There’s a bunch of countries that don’t like our form of government.”

A statement like that will bring peace around the table better than, “No, it didn’t, you idiot!”

Oh, and no booze.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a semi-retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

[email protected]


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021