The Thanksgiving dinner is a fun event, filled with good food and drinks, and filled with love for family and friends – or at least, that’s the ideal picture, as aspired for by American families. But the reality may not be as idyllic because the Thanksgiving dinner preparation can be extremely stressful, especially for the designated cook of the household.
Little wonder then that in a National Restaurant Association 2014 consumer survey, about 15 million Americans reported their plans for enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant. With the busy lifestyles we have, we’re not surprised if the number of Americans choosing the restaurant route has increased. Even the restaurant industry has been in on the trend – a quick Google search “restaurants open on Thanksgiving” shows dozens of restaurants meeting the search criteria.
These restaurant range from the Michelin-rated fine dining restaurants like Fogo de Chao to casual dining like IHOP. Well, of course, you may not want to take your family and friends to a fast-food joints offering burgers, hotdogs and soda because Thanksgiving dinner means stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, and various autumn vegetables but you get the point.
But why hit your favorite restaurants on Thanksgiving or on any holiday, for that matter? Here are the reasons worth considering.
Enjoy a Low-Stress Thanksgiving Dinner
While we may want to spend an idyllic Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends in your home, it isn’t possible at all times. You may already be stressed from your work or pressured to be the perfect host or required to prepare a veritable feast worthy of Gordon Ramsey. You and your family may have issues about where to spend Thanksgiving – in your home, or in the home of your parents, or in the home of your in-laws – and the back-and-forth discussions are becoming harsher by the day.
Yes, indeed, Thanksgiving Day may be a day for giving thanks but it can also be a day when you just want to hide from everybody and ride out the holiday in peace and quiet. But celebrate it you must because, well, it is tradition and your family and friends are looking forward to spending it with you.
The solution: Celebrate it in a restaurant that offers Thanksgiving meals or the like! You don’t have to decorate your home and dinner table for the occasion, cook the food and prepare the drinks, and entertain your guests. You just have to make the reservations, bring your guests to the restaurant, and let the kitchen staff and waiters do the work.
This way, you can actually enjoy the meal and the company of your family and friends since you’re not doing the work. You don’t even have to worry about cleaning up the mess and washing the dishes since others will take care of these tasks. You may even find that the money spent for the entire Thanksgiving meal is worth every dollar because the dishes are delicious, the décor is fantastic, and the service is great.
Take it Easy on Yourself
While you may want to entertain guests in your home, you may be unable to do so because of your health issues. You may have issues with your physical mobility, such as when you’re using crutches or you’re in a wheelchair. You may be recovering from an illness or injury, perhaps even recovering from a recent hospitalization, but you still want to celebrate Thanksgiving.
You may even be dealing with mental health issues, such as post-partum depression, but you want to give thanks for a good life, nonetheless. You can think of it as a way to get out of your funk but you don’t have the physical and mental energy for the intensive planning that a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at home demands. Your home may also not be suitable for a Thanksgiving dinner with a few family and friends or you may not be up to the task of cleaning and sprucing it up.
The bottom line: You want to take it easy on yourself, physically and mentally. In this case, you will find that spending Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant is your best solution.
You don’t even have to explain yourself and your decision to do so too much. Keep in mind that those who know you will not judge you and those who don’t will not accept explanations no matter how valid these may be. Just invite the people you trust and love so as to skip the unnecessary explanations.
Spending Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant is also a great option under these circumstances:
- If you’re travelling during the holidays, then a restaurant dinner makes sense. You can still enjoy the holiday vibe with other people without going to too much trouble.
- If you’re spending it with your partner only, then it’s also a great idea. You can make it a romantic dinner and make it a day to thank the heavens for a good relationship.
When you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner, you may want to thank the restaurant staff, too, and be nice to them. It’s the least you can do considering that they are forgoing Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones.