Does tradition mean nothing anymore? It depends on the household, of course. But we know for a fact that plenty of you Outsiders sit down for your Thanksgiving feasts in the early afternoon. TV personality Kelly Ripa is having a hard time understanding why this is the case.
Everyone knows 3-4:00 p.m. is the ideal window for sitting down at a Turkey Day chowdown. Okay, everyone is a strong assumption. But let’s be real for a second. That timeframe provides the perfect balance for cooking, festivities, football, dinner, turkey nap, and last but not least, the inevitable nighttime follow-up meal.
“Thanksgiving dinner is dinner which means it should happen at dinner time. Dinner should be late!” said Ripa. “I do not understand everyone’s obsession with having Thanksgiving dinner at 2 p.m. Then you’re hungry at 6 p.m and 7 p.m. and 8 p.m, and then you’re eating, and then you’re binging, and then you’re having leftovers.”
Kelly is almost making a case for those of us that prefer an earlier start time. Yes, you’re hungry again at 8 p.m., and that’s the beauty of it, Kelly! There’s so much food that deserves to be consumed before it completely crosses over into leftover territory.
If you happen to agree with Kelly Ripa, that’s completely fine. No one’s holding it against you. But those self-respecting early eaters among us have to take objection to at least one of her comments. Just because we have different priorities doesn’t mean one has to resort to name-calling.
“Thank you. I am validated today because these monsters all are like, ‘2 p.m!” Kelly Ripa continued, finding support from her guest Kevin Hart.
Monsters. Can you believe it? The audacity!
Why Do We Sit Down for Thanksgiving Dinner So Early in the First Place? Does Kelly Ripa Have a Point?
Okay, this is where the early Thanksgiving dinner advocates run into trouble. If we’re going to take refuge in tradition, we have to be ready to respond to statements like, “People have always done it this way, but that’s not a good reason to keep doing it.”
And sure, the tradition of eating “dinner” in the early afternoon dating back to the Middle Ages—when most English people took their meals before the sun went down—doesn’t make a convincing argument for contemporary afternoon dinnertime.
But hear us now, Kelly Ripa. No one is giving any thought to medieval times when they opt for a 3 p.m. Thanksgiving meal. They’re thinking about their guests who may or may not have skipped breakfast that morning. They’ve got their mind on whether the Lions will get their first win of the year. And hey, an early meal means visitors have plenty of time to let their food settle before they head home.