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Readers Respond: Thanksgiving Responsibilities - Who Does What At Your Home?

Responses: 4

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Yup, we already got the memo: women cook and men carve the Thanksgiving turkey. But we don't have to follow those ingrained traditions, do we? Who does what at your home for Thanksgiving? How do you divide up Thanksgiving responsibilities, and do the various Thanksgiving duties always get assigned based on gender?

The Best Garlic Turkey in the Country

I don't cook at all on Thanksgiving, unless making toast counts. My husband has been making our Thanksgiving dinner for years, and it's delicious. He nurses that bird like it was a child -- basting it with garlic butter periodically throughout the day. He makes his own stuffing, and bakes sweet potatos with marshmallows. I make most every-day dinners, but Tom does most of the baking. And you should taste the from-scratch German Chocolate Cake he bakes for our birthdays!
—hpriggs

Thanksgiving is a Minefield for Me

My mother spent the whole day on her feet. When I became the hostess, she expected us both to spend all day on our feet. I was appalled that she did everything, and even more so when I was expected to. Now that she's died, and I am in charge, every member of my family does a side dish, my husband does the turkey, and it's a group effort. I don't dread it anymore. But it is a time of year when I find myself thinking alot about the fix women are in, and how subtle and lightly worn the chains can be.
—Guest Your Woman In Washington

It's a Way to Connect With the Past

I think one reason why Thanksgiving roles haven't changed much is because of the connection it gives women with their mothers and grandmothers. It gives us a chance to feel like we participating in the continuity of our families. But, I see no reason why we can't ask for help and let the rest of the family contribute, too. The example that would set for the children involved (especially the girls) would go a long way towards changing the perpetuation of those old gender stereotypes. Like all the other feminist progress we have gained, we can't wait for the men to step up first -- we have to ask for it. After all, who wouldn't rather park on their arse in front of the tv versus slaving away in the kitchen all day?
—Guest Love Bug

I tried but no luck

I do Thanksgiving the way my mom did and my grandmother, which pretty much means I do the basics but nothing fancy. I did have hopes that maybe my husband would take over the turkey. A family friend got into grilling the turkey and then he tried it with a smoker and my husband seemed interested so I bought him a smoker for Christmas that year. It's still out in the garage in it's original box. My son is 10 and my daughter is 14. He watches football games with his cousins but she hides in her room, IMing her friends. At least she's not stuck in the kitchen though I can always use the help.
—Guest Lori

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