These are a few of our (Thanksgiving-related) favorite things

And a few of our least favorite things…

By Morf Morford, Tacoma Daily Index

The line “These are a few of my favorite things” is usually associated with the Christmas season – mostly thanks to continuing appeal of the film “The Sound of Music”. But some of us have “favorite things” wrapped around or emerging from an earlier holiday; Thanksgiving. You can see an exploration of residual Thanksgiving expectations and strategies here.

We love leftovers

In most cases, many of us don’t look forward to leftovers, but, for whatever reason, many of us like the idea of Thanksgiving related leftovers in our refrigerators. Most of us like to pick through what our holiday guests have left behind.

As you might guess, we in Washington state have a clear favorite when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers – Roast Turkey. 78% of us go directly to the remaining turkey carcass the next day (or days).

68% of us look longingly at the remaining stuffing, 58% eye the mashed potatoes and 52% ogle the gravy. A little over 40% of us set our sight on any pie left over – which is usually pumpkin or apple. About 10% of us like to nibble on any remaining vegetables.

A few of our least favorite things

The word “favorite” is, above all, personal and subjective. One person’s “favorite” might be someone else’s “least favorite” menu item, tradition, conversation topic or even mutual (if not obligatory) dining companions. And, of course, schedule.

What time is best to gather?

Most of us are on a fairly regular breakfast/lunch/dinner schedule. For whatever reason, the Thanksgiving meal throws off the standard eating schedule for almost all of us. According to a recent survey, the most popular time to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner is somewhere around 2pm-4pm. Well over half of us pick that time frame. 15% of us meet between 4-5pm. 11% of us choose the more traditional dinner time of around 5-6pm.

What should we talk about?

A better question might be, “What should we NOT talk about?” For many years, if not decades, a standard theme of “polite” conversation was the avoidance of volatile topics – primarily religion and politics.

In Washington 62% of us dislike (or avoid) conversations about politics (compared to 52% nationwide). Our second “least favorite” topic in our state is family dynamics/history.

Across the country, family disputes/history tend to be the most disliked/avoided topics. Anyone else find it odd that more than half of us don’t want to talk about the history and relationships of those we are, in most cases, sitting alongside?

In our state, 35% of us avoid talking about religion, 31% of us avoid talking about money and 28% of us avoid talking about work. We are, after all, attempting to have a good time.

On a national basis, when it comes to least favorite topics, 26 states avoid talking about family issues, 21 states politics, and 3 states prefer not to discuss recent or current controversial events or news.

I was going to say that one of the few remaining “safe” topics was the weather. But even that most clichéd of conversation topics is not as safe as it once was.

Maybe next year.

No matter what you do, or end up talking about, whether you avoid awkward conversations or holidays entirely, we wish you the best.