Last week the company for which He of We works sent out Christmas presents to the 3,000 and some employees it has across the country – turkeys! Not live turkeys, frozen turkeys. And as such demonstrations of largesse do so often, controversy immediately arose.
The most heard complaint (who complains about free anything?) was “What am I going to do with a turkey after Thanksgiving?” Taking a cue from perhaps the greatest Christmas movie ever released, “A Christmas Story,” the obvious answer would be to have it for Christmas. Now these birds weren’t anywhere near the size of the turkey Ralphie’s father dreams of every yule. A modest 10 or 12 pounds were these. But they were big enough to spark discussions throughout the building.
Apparently almost 40% of those in that building never had, don’t currently have, or will not have plans for turkey for Christmas. What do these people eat? A very informal poll revealed that about half of that group has ham, about half has some cut of roast beef, and about half has lobster, crab, shrimp or some other seafood. Some have sausage. A few have duck. One claimed venison if the hunting season was successful. Nobody has the classic Christmas goose. You will notice that there are well over four halves for that 40%. That’s because almost nobody admitted to only one protein at the Christmas table. Everyone, including the turkey eaters, at the very minimum double dips on the meats at Christmas.
Unlike Thanksgiving where turkey is still the biggest centerpiece on most tables, Christmas food traditions are taking a diverse path. Even the side dishes are more varied than the earlier holiday table sees. Many menus still include sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, corn, squashes, and green beans (although the green bean casserole is losing favor in our area). But next to those traditional offerings will sit root vegetables, pastas, rices, pomegranates, mac and cheese, and even quinoa.
The one consistent thing about the Christmas feast, with or without an accompanying Christmas Eve feast, is that Christmas also ends up with many people in food comas spread across sofas watching old movies and munching on the ever present Christmas cookies.
No matter how you carve it, it’s a wonderful time of the year!
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?