Thanksgiving dinner more precious for families than ever

Star Parker
Conservative Opinion

Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education
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In the year 1620, the Mayflower left England and landed on Cape Cod, where the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared the feast that has come to be known as Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes have become staples of the meal, but more important than the food served might be the custom of family members getting together. Straight Arrow News contributor Star Parker fears the custom of family dinners has become endangered, making the Thanksgiving dinner even more precious.

There’s nothing quite like Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, we are the only country in the world that does Thanksgiving where we have great food, great company. Hopefully not too much political debate while we’re enjoying each other. Play the turkey. Some stuff in. I mean, life is grand when we can come together as a community of people, as family, to celebrate, to celebrate and be thankful, to have dinner with family.

You know, that’s something rare these days to actually have dinner with family. And a lot of people are making great effort this year for Thanksgiving because inflation is there. So that means Thanksgiving dinner is much more expensive. That means getting there to Thanksgiving dinner is much more expensive, whether you’re flying or whether you’re driving. And so hopefully not too much political discussion, but the dinner table every night, it’s not there anymore.

Making Thanksgiving more special, but making something we should really be concerned about as a society. Everyone has their own screens, their own corner of the house. In a recent study conducted by one poll found that the average American has only three dinners a week with their families, and many of those dinners are out of the bag of McDonald’s.

And of that, so many are spending less time with family discussions. They’re just not doing it anymore. And then, of course, the study didn’t say that it was a McDonald’s bag, but we all know it’s true. We’re on our phones. We’re watching TV, less time at the dinner table, more time in the living room or in our own separate spaces.

And the dinner table was so special. And our history is that American people, because that’s where discussions came up that would actually connect us to one another and where virtues and values were passed on through family, through grandma, granddad, husband, wife, married to each other. And then the children are listening. And then that makes Thanksgiving dinner even more precious for so many families.

 

There’s nothing quite like Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, we are the only country in the world that does Thanksgiving where we have great food, great company. Hopefully not too much political debate while we’re enjoying each other. Play the turkey. Some stuff in. I mean, life is grand when we can come together as a community of people, as family, to celebrate, to celebrate and be thankful, to have dinner with family.

You know, that’s something rare these days to actually have dinner with family. And a lot of people are making great effort this year for Thanksgiving because inflation is there. So that means Thanksgiving dinner is much more expensive. That means getting there to Thanksgiving dinner is much more expensive, whether you’re flying or whether you’re driving. And so hopefully not too much political discussion, but the dinner table every night, it’s not there anymore.

Making Thanksgiving more special, but making something we should really be concerned about as a society. Everyone has their own screens, their own corner of the house. In a recent study conducted by one poll found that the average American has only three dinners a week with their families, and many of those dinners are out of the bag of McDonald’s.

And of that, so many are spending less time with family discussions. They’re just not doing it anymore. And then, of course, the study didn’t say that it was a McDonald’s bag, but we all know it’s true. We’re on our phones. We’re watching TV, less time at the dinner table, more time in the living room or in our own separate spaces.

And the dinner table was so special. And our history is that American people, because that’s where discussions came up that would actually connect us to one another and where virtues and values were passed on through family, through grandma, granddad, husband, wife, married to each other. And then the children are listening. And then that makes Thanksgiving dinner even more precious for so many families.

The one time they can really get together and share each other and laugh together and sometimes cry together. And yet, the benefit of families eating dinner together far away from us, you know, we it should be self-evident that we should spend more time with those we love the most that will be there on our deathbed. Every day. Breaking bread.

One study at Columbia University found numerous differences between kids who regularly eat dinner with their family and then those that don’t. Kids away with their family less than three times a week were twice as likely to receive a C or worse in school. The study found that teenagers were twice as likely to use alcohol and four times likelier to use marijuana.

This is those that just don’t break bread with their family over dinner. Guest working parents, both of them. Another study from a Stanford University found that kids who are far more likely to be obese when they didn’t sit down over a family meal. The benefits on mental health, family bonding, savings to your bank account. Healthy development of each child.

And these things are significant. Toddlers are even shown to develop their language skills faster due to the dinner table. Yeah, you better watch what you’re saying at that dinner table. And even though the family dinners seem to be disappeared, there hasn’t always been the case. One of the few silver linings of the COVID pandemic is that time with family increased families spent together a lot more time, especially at the dinner table.

This increased dramatically. We’re starting to see the data. You know, I had a bet on the table that divorce rates would rise and I lost that bet because they didn’t. Instead, people connected. And even though society has opened back up, we don’t need to lose one of the things we recently regained. Dinner together. Dinner time together. So this Thanksgiving dinner is a special time for so many reasons.

So let’s keep the turkey and the pecan pie up until the holiday seasons. But let’s keep it through the season, too. When we come together for dinner as a family, let’s make that a special part of every day.


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