December 23, 2022 7:00am

The Holiday Edition II

Thanksgiving Leftovers, The Blessing Before The Meal and Your New Year's Eve Plans

Photo of Ken Garfield
Charlotte, NC Correspondent

On the edge of a new year – best wishes for 2023 – Power Poll for December invited you to share your perspective on the holiday questions of the day. Respondents were all over the map on Thanksgiving leftovers, what you prayed for during the blessing of the family dinner, and your plans for New Year’s Eve, if you have any.

We especially appreciated feedback from Deborah S. Bosley, who emailed to us, “Don’t assume all families pray.” And from Bruce Hensley, who emailed, “Or eat turkey for Thanksgiving or even care about New Year’s Eve.” Diversity of thought and action, as Deborah and Bruce remind us, is a healthy thing.

Each month Power Poll emails questions – some offbeat and all interesting – for you to answer. Want to get in on the fun? Email Ken Garfield, longtime Charlotte writer/editor and proud keeper of the Charlotte Power Poll.

Join us. Express your opinion. See what your neighbors are thinking. Build community consensus.

One more request, please. Tell your friends and neighbors about Power Poll. The more people who participate, the livelier the interaction.

Welcome to Power Poll No. 7.

Question No. 1.

Looking back on Thanksgiving, how many days did you eat leftovers at your house?

Power Poll respondents are not food-wasters. A poll-leading 39 percent said they nibble on leftovers for two days. Thirty-one percent said “too many” when asked how many days they eat Thanksgiving leftovers.

A fact to consider: There’s a lot of leftovers to eat. Americans buy 365 million pounds of turkey the last week of November. Understanding this, chefs have posted a slew of recipes to make do, from turkey enchiladas to cranberry sauce cocktails with vodka or gin and a splash of orange liqueur. Power Poll correspondent Ken Garfield has tender memories of siting at the dining table with his late father devouring leftover turkey dipped in thousand island dressing.

Question No. 2

What will you or the person giving the prayer ask for when you bless the food before your big holiday family dinner?

A leading 43 percent of respondents said they will pray first for good health for loved ones. That’s a noble prayer, of course. But it’s nice to also think globally during that precious pause before digging in. Thirty-one percent plan to pray for harmony in our fractured world.

Some context: The faith of Americans is in slow decline. In the 1950s and 1960s, 98 percent of us believed in God. In 2022, it was 81 percent. Deborah the emailer is correct. Not everyone prays. And that’s OK. Freedom of choice is a precious right. For those who do pray, good health at home and harmony in the world are fine places to start.

How about this one we found online, author unknown: “In a world where so many are hungry, may we eat this food with humble hearts; In a world where so many are lonely, may we share this friendship with joyful hearts. Amen.”

Question No. 3.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

Forty-eight percent said they’ll spend a quiet evening at home but stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square and perhaps lay a kiss on a loved one. Thirty-one percent said they will stay in AND hit the hay before the clock tolls midnight.

That backs up a poll taken by a personal financial website called WalletHub, which found that only nine percent of those questioned plan to go to a bar or organized event on New Year’s Eve.

Party animals we are not. But if you are one of the minority who plans to go out, watch your consumption. And don’t drive.

See you in January for the next Power Poll. Until then, from our Power Poll family to your family, may your holiday season and new year be filled with good health, safe travels and peace in the world.

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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