Friday Night Thanksgiving?
My family normally goes all out for Thanksgiving- turkey, stuffing, yams, pumpkin pie, and so on- on Thanksgiving, with the leftovers being the Friday night meal.
My wife, on the other hand, points out (not unreasonably) that cooking a meal of that complexity is a lot of work and that it 'isn't kovod Shabbos' to have leftovers for the Friday night meal. Naturally, she does not want to cook one big dinner for Thanksgiving and one for Friday night. As a compromise, she is willing to have the turkey and et cetera on Friday night and call that Thanksgiving.
Asking around, I find to my suprise that this seems to be not uncommon. It seems that quite a few of our crowd eat turkey on the Friday night after Thanksgiving.
What I want to know is: how many here have a turkey dinner? Of those who do, how many have it on Thursday and how many have it on Friday?
We've always done Thanksgiving on Friday night. It was nice to combine the special meal of Thanksgiving with Shabbat. Sometimes we would get invited out for Thursday, and then have the foods we love that my mother would make for Friday. I am going to continue this tradition in my household when the time comes.
My family never cared much about Thanksgiving one way or the other when I was growing up. If my aunt and uncle invited us, we went there, if not, we probably had no Thanksgiving dinner. (I do remember one year, my parents roasted a turkey, but the rest of it was like an ordinary weeknight dinner - a cooked veggie, a starch, maybe a salad. No company was invited, and it wasn't more festive than the usual night.) Now, my husband's family makes Thanksgiving, on Thursday night, and we go to them.
Even aside from the leftovers on Shabbos issue (I agree with Cameraman's wife on the subject), it's always seemed silly to me to make a giant, lavish meal on a Thursday night, right before the lavish meals of Friday night and Saturday lunch.
I love Thanksgiving and all the foods associated with it, so we generally have a real Thanksgiving and have the same foods for shabbos. Some years we go to non-frum family, so I have to cook prior to Thanksgiving anyway in order to have food there, and since it's otherwise just two of us, it would not make sense to make an entire turkey--even a small one--for just one meal.
I plan on making my turkey on Friday eating it Friday night and depending on how many people I have over may even last into shabbos lunch as well to complement the chullent.
We make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, and then have entirely new and different food on Friday. Any Thanksgiving leftovers that make it through Shabbos afternoon snacking become lunch or dinner on Sunday.