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Tired of Thanksgiving Cooking


Rita is tired of cooking Thanksgiving dinner year after year. Mary offers her some practical advice to get through the holiday meal.

Download a transcript of this Mary Maxwell video (PDF)

If you're already caring for an aging relative, finding ways to celebrate special occasions while dealing with health issues can be challenging, especially for those who are homebound. We've gathered ideas for making a meal special, creating a festive mood and surprising your family member with entertainment or a customized gift in our holidays section.

Tired of Thanksgiving Cooking

Mary Maxwell, Posted October 2, 2012

Rita from Boise writes, "my three boys and their families come over for Thanksgiving day every year and I'm always expected to cook the entire meal. I just turned 72 and quite frankly, I don't feel much like preparing all that food and I can't imagine that I would even be able to lift the turkey in and out of the oven. My sons are worthless in the kitchen and I don't want them to think I'm lazy. What should I do?"

Rita, I wonder if it's possible that the boys think you want to do Thanksgiving dinner and would be heartbroken if anyone suggested that they should begin taking turns hosting holiday meals. After all, are these not the same sons who think babysitting their children is your greatest pleasure in life? If you can't bring yourself to suggest that it's time to pass the torch, I think the answer is pizza. I would suggest that pizza is now an acknowledged American tradition. You don't have to get up early to bake pizza for hours. You don't have to have innumerable side dishes. You can choose a number of large pizzas, a family sized salad, and maybe—”because it is a holiday—”several dozen breadsticks, all of which can be delivered and all of which you can lift in and out of the oven without breaking a sweat. If anyone suggests that it would be unpatriotic to replace turkey with pizza, agree with them and ask what you can bring to their house for Thanksgiving dinner.

Watch the video,

Visit to discover more wit and wisdom from Mary Maxwell, as well as expert advice from Dr. Amy D'Aprix and other videos, articles, and resources for family caregivers.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. December 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Posted by Stacy W.

    Lovely video, thank you for sharing. As a caregiver providing Manchester NH assisted living I can truly relate to this, and I think a lot of others who care for their loved ones can take something away from this great video.


  2. December 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Posted by Mary L Sullivan

    My name is also Mary,I am 80 yrs old and I too was tired of doing the Thanksgiving dinners along with all the rest of the festivities.I have 8 children,some live here, some don't,so I assigned them each to be the host of next year's dinner.So far it has worked quite well.Those not here can use my house to entertain.It does not matter if they are married or not,they all know how to cook and I no longer do Christmas,it's about time my kids make up their own traditions and I don't give presents,neither do I want them, I have everything I want or need and if there should be something I need I can buy it. I think that my kids are relieved as the economy is tough,let them spend for their own.


  3. December 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Posted by Anne Reiss

    I would like the words to Funny Prayer About Getting old at the Caregiver of the Year Dinner. I would like to print it off, if possible.


  4. October 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Posted by Carolyn B. Hudgins

    Is there a CD available of Mary Maxwell's "advice" and particularly the "Funny Prayer About Getting Old at the "Caregiver of the Year Dinner"? I would love to get several copies to give as gifts. Carolyn B. Hudgins


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