This Great Thanksgiving Debate Is Dividing My Marriage

My embarrassing shameful Thanksgiving behavior

You need to have the final say on this Thanksgiving debate

You might suggest that this is something Husband and I should’ve addressed before we got married.

     You would not be wrong.

     Except that, we are so far apart on this issue, it’s possible, had we discussed it, no marriage would’ve ever taken place.

     Our differences should not shock us.

     Look at how differently we grew up.

     Different parts of the country.

     Different religions.

     Different political leanings.

     I suppose it’s more amazing how in sync we are on so many things.

     Until this time of year.

     We do not agree on the one holiday that just about everybody loves.


     What’s not to love about Thanksgiving?

     There’s the food.

     The even better leftovers.

     The expression of gratitude.

Here’s the problem

     Where Husband and I can’t agree—

     What time do you have Thanksgiving Dinner?

     This came up this week because, we’ve decided, late in the holiday game to host.

     Actually, I decided months ago.

     Husband, I know, has a different holiday clock.

     Likes to keep his options open.

     What if a last-minute travel deal to Bangkok pops up? We can’t be locked into the obligation of having people over.

With our girls in Paris. Thanksgiving 2013.

     I long ago realized our window is short this year.

     Both girls only have a few days off from their respective colleges.

     Bangkok is not going to happen.

I took a Thanksgiving leap

     I started issuing casual invitations to a few friends weeks ago.

     Invitation with an asterisk.

     “We’re kind of not officially having Thanksgiving yet, but when Husband figures out that we are, you will be invited.”

More reasonable people would’ve taken any other offer.

     Luckily, a few of our friends know who we are and love us anyway.

Husband has his own holiday clock

     About a week ago, Husband’s Thanksgiving bell went off.

     He’s in.

     “Who else can we invite?” he started scrolling through his Contacts list.

     I didn’t have the heart to tell him most people make their Thanksgiving plans long before they’re about to pass out Halloween candy.

     “What time can I tell Frank and Charles to be here?” he asked.

     Which was the moment I knew we had to have that conversation.

     To own our individual experiences that make zero sense to the other.

     Husband thinks Thanksgiving begins at noon.

     When I was growing up, our Thanksgiving dinner, was, wait for it,

     At dinner time.

     6 pm.

     That was just appetizers.

     We didn’t actually sit down for the dinner part until 7.

     I don’t think this will be a problem for couples in the future.

     I bet we’ll all put on virtual reality headsets and experience exactly the holidays that feel familiar.

     That make us happy.

The compromise

     Meanwhile, Husband and I have compromised.

     We’re going with 2 pm.

     I will have the turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie ready to go by 2 pm.

     You’ll let me know if you can make it, Dear Reader.

     “Oh, and ham. We have to have ham,” Husband chimed in.

     “Ham on Thanksgiving,” said no one in my family.


     What are your Thanksgiving non-negotiable foods?

     Looks like it’s time for another column.

     Time? Foods? Please weigh in in the Comments section below.

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This Great Thanksgiving Debate Is Dividing My Marriage

by DarynKagan time to read: 3 min