November 16, 2012

Pinching Pennies And A Good Thanksgiving Meal

Picture a typical Thanksgiving meal: roasted turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Is your mouth watering, yet? Well, let me add just a little bonus; this year, that meal might be just a bit cheaper. The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation conducted a study in Virginia and found this very Thanksgiving meal will cost eighty cents less on average this year, and that is without any coupons or sales. How’s that wet your whistle?

This will happen despite the scare that food prices are rising. We have all heard about the effect the drought is having on food costs, but some we can find some good. The Huffington Post reported most retailers locked in prices for Thanksgiving foods before the drought could affect the price of food. These retailers are committed to keeping these prices affordable so that people can enjoy a nice meal at Thanksgiving. I cannot help but smile at this sentiment.

It truly is great that retailers are working so hard to keep holiday meals affordable, especially in an economy still struggling from the Great Recession. True, many good things have come out showing economic improvement, but many Americans are still struggling. It is good to know that they will not have to sacrifice a holiday tradition. For once, businesses have my thanks, and is that not what Thanksgiving is all about?

Thanksgiving is a time when families gather and continue traditions or create new ones. Regardless, family members look forward to the traditional Thanksgiving meal. They love to snack on the relish tray as the turkey wafts smells of deliciousness throughout the house. The cook lovingly places the dishes on the table to create the most aesthetic setting for the meal: turkey set in the middle with dishes of peas, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and rolls adorning the sides. Oh, and we cannot forget the pumpkin pie!

Family members gather to enjoy the feast and experience love and thankfulness. Only this year, many will be able to do that at a lower cost, and for those who do not see that benefit, they will at least be able to pay a stable cost. What is better than a family feast at affordable prices? We fill our stomachs while keeping money in the bank. I’d say that is a win-win situation.

This move to keep the Thanksgiving meal affordable builds trust and community. We see that businesses care about families and holidays. Well, at least it feels like they do, and sometimes the mere impression of concern is enough to garner appreciation. The Thanksgiving holiday has turned into one where we thank the ones we love as well as thank those who help us. Retailers are trying to help the consumers by watching the prices of food. I think that counts.

Much controversy surrounds the holiday, but I will save that for another post. For now, it is enough to just acknowledge this good news. This year, people can eat a good meal, thank each other and food retailers, and still watch their pennies. This is all good news.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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