6 essential rules for hosting Thanksgiving

November 13, 2012 | By Abraham | 14 comments

Sam Sifton, former New York Times restaurant critic and author of Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well, gives some simple and important advice on how to host a great Thanksgiving holiday at your house…

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14 Comments

  1. I like geometry says:

    Good stuff, except I would add that while it is good and appropriate to give thanks to those who prepare the meal and who brought dishes, and who host the event and who have helped us in many ways throughout the year, it is also about giving thanks to God for his blessings and not just a secular holiday. From Wikipedia: As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

    God Bless America!

      1. I like geometry says:

        I do know what secular means and I understand how it can be applied in the sense that Thanksgiving is not a religious festival, per se, but I also understand the contemporary connotation that suggests secular things are specifically unrelated to God or religion, hence my comment. When we pray, who do we pray to? When we give thanks, who are we giving thanks to? I have actually heard atheists present a Thanksgiving pre-meal word where they have said they are ‘thankful’. When we are thankful, it is because we have received something from someone and it is to that someone we offer thanks. If you offer general thanks unspecified, I would offer that you either are deceiving yourself about the true nature of God or you are slightly deranged.

      2. Sara Mcd says:

        I have understood I like geometry’s opinion to be that the holiday is not merely a secular celebration, but a day on which to give special thanks to God. You seem to be implying that the word secular has been used incorrectly here. How so?

    1. Ajax says:

      Perhaps you give thanks to a god on Thanksgiving, but I certainly don’t, no matter what some old, white, slave-owner said a couple hundred years ago. So yes, it’s very much a secular holiday, at least for me.

  2. Joyce Hawkinson says:

    sec·u·lar   [sek-yuh-ler] Show IPA
    adjective
    1.
    of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.
    2.
    not pertaining to or connected with religion ( opposed to sacred): secular music.

  3. Elston Gunn says:

    I think what threw us off was the word, “just.”

    “it is also about giving thanks to God for his blessings and not just a secular holiday.”

    It reads like a car commercial – - “Not only is thanksgiving a non-religious holiday, it’s also a religious holiday!”

    So which is it? Geometry presents the idea that it could be different for different people. What a concept.

    Unfortunately, Geometry seems not to truly believe this: “If you offer general thanks unspecified, I would offer that you either are deceiving yourself about the true nature of God or you are slightly deranged.”

    Knowing what we know now about Geometry’s worldview, it looks like he/she really didn’t know what secular meant. If he/she did know, the comment would have been, “it is about giving thanks to God for his blessings and not a secular holiday.”

    Hooray telling other people how to celebrate thanksgiving! Religious intolerance!

    1. Sigo says:

      Expressing a different world view is not intolerance. Prohibiting a different world view is intolerance.

      Also, secular and religious perspectives on the same holiday are commonplace and happily exist simultaneously. For example Christmas (Jesus and Santa Claus) and Easter (Jesus and a bunny rabbit).

      1. elston gunn says:

        Geometry was prohibiting a worldview by saying that if you offer thanks unspecified, you are “deceiving yourself about the true nature of God or you are slightly deranged”

        My comment was trying to promote the idea that two perspectives are fine, apply them however. To each his own. Just don’t call someone deranged if they don’t do it your way.

    2. Joy says:

      He (the guy in the video) did not say “just” he said we gather to give thanks to one another “it’s our secular…”

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