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What time does your family eat Thanksgiving Dinner?

Growing up, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were usually served around 2-3 in the afternoon in our family. Over the last years my sister and I have had annual disagreements regarding the 'best' time for Thanksgiving Dinner. I like the 2pm range - it is a big heavy meal and seems healthier mid-day. Also that leaves time for an after dinner walk for those inclined. My sister feels that it is called Thanksgiving dinner and should be in the evening. She feels that 6pm is OK, tho she'd probably opt for later if not for me. I have told her that most everyone in the world eats Thanksgiving dinner in the afternoon - so what do all you CH's do? (PS I dearly love my sister and there is no animosity in our disagreement:)

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  1. We always eat sometime between 3:00 and 4:30. In addition to having time to let our food settle, we have people that have to drive an hour plus to get home so it's nice to leave them some time. Good luck :)

    1. I'm in your camp Elsie. We start about 2 (we've skipped lunch) and enjoy a very leisurely dining experience before retiring for an after dinner drink. We hold off on the dessert course until about an hour after the meal is finished. Roughly speaking it's dinner at 2, clear the table by about 3:30 or 4. Enjoy a drink of some variety (to booze or not to booze, your choice) and serve dessert about 5 - 5:30. By evening, everyone has had a chance to recover from "stuffing" themselves and is more comfortable at bedtime.
      It's a tradition in our house ...
      Eating later than about 2PM

      1. Well, for the first time ever we are going to try to sit down at 4pm. That will be quite a feat considering my father likes to make everyone wait until 8pm when he's in charge of dinner.
        I think my mother told him we must sit at 3pm in hopes we actually reach the 4pm goal.
        I do like the idea of time for a post-meal walk before dessert, and I will have a one hour+ drive home this year, so I'm all for eating early.
        Someday I hope to spend Tday in a cabin in the snow with EVERYONE spending the night. Dinner at 3 or 4pm, followed by movies in front of the fire, a turkey sandwich buffet put out around 8pm for all the hard-core eaters and utter relaxation all around. And soft pants all day long.

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        1. I used to aim for 4 and hope it was done by 7. It depended on how big the bird was (huge) and how early I could stand to get up.

          Sometimes I made it by 4; sometimes it slipped to 7.

          1. I also grew up with a mid-afternoon dinner, but my husband is firmly in the evening camp, and we rarely eat any holiday meals before 7 or 7:30. I would love to sit down at 6, but trying to get my DH to go along is a lost cause.

            1 Reply
            1. re: roxlet

              I need several hours to digest a big meal, so the earlier the better, within reason, of course.