Thanksgiving Economics

Because of the lingering effects of the recession, Thanksgiving 2011 will not be as great an economic boom as before, but reports indicate increased spending is expected.

For example, an “American Farm Bureau Federation study claims the cost of turkey and other related Thanksgiving food items costs 13 percent more this year. Their estimate was based on a sample meal consisting of turkey, stuffing, peas, pumpkin pie, rolls, sweet potatoes, fresh cranberries, and other items. The total cost of the family meal was $49.20. Let say, the average family meal will consists of 8-10 member and/or friends. The total cost of a food on Thanksgiving will be no less than $16.6 billion.

A recent AAA survey shows 38.2 million Americans plan on driving an average of 706 miles to their destination. They won’t be traveling by pink elephant either. Nearly 3.4 million will fly by plane, according to the American Automobile Association (not American Alcoholic Anonymous) survey. American traveler expected to spend an average of $554 each. That totals over $23 billion. Along all of the greasy turkey, fattening dressing, and calorie boosting pie, that is a lot of gas, especially at over $3 a gallon.

Some might want to extend their trip to play in the Turkey-Lurky Bowl, which is held in New York City. It would be a great way to work off some of the excess blubber, relieve some of the pent up holiday pressure, and enjoy Central Park.

If you bit more lazy like me, you could entertain yourself by watching My Life As A Turkey, a PBS documentary about Joe Hutto experience with turkeys. Or, if you happen to be bored out-of-your-gourd, you could take Kipliner’s
Thanksgiving IQ quiz
. (That is giving thanks that one’s still has an IQ after stuffing oneself life a crazy person on Thursday and vowing never to do it again on Friday.)

Speaking of Friday, Kiplinger’s Money Magazine reports Black Friday spending is expected to top $45 billion. One possible reason is many retailers intend to start on Thursday at midnight. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, the expected amount in sales will account for about 21% of retailers annual sales.

For at least two Minnesota turkeys, they are counting more than economic blessings, according to the Associated Press. I’m certain they are thankful for a royal trip to see the President of the United States as well as for being pardoned. I’m not sure from what sin crime turkeys may be pardoned but like all of us inheritors of the Puritan Thanksgiving tradition they can be thankful to God for escaping the eternal axe. That’s what Puritans used to call the economy of God’s grace.

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