1950 Christmas dinner - sm - © retro annon. - via Pintrest

U.S. Thanksgiving: Costing More, More Or Less

I was watching CNN New Day out of the corner of my eye yesterday morning, while surfing for blog post topics, when a doozy came right out of left field into my left ear. Various economists were defending their inflation rate statistics and what price increases may mean in terms of the Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner…

1950 Christmas dinner - © retro annon. - via PintrestMy your Thanksgiving be filled with all the blessings you’ve enjoyed this year!

It was almost comical, in a way. An official government spokesman said the retail price of a 20 lb. / 9 kg turkey was only up an average of $1 over last year. Others disagreed. Sort of. The government guy didn’t talk about fresh veggies, cranberries and other Holiday necessities. But private-sector analysts factored in a wider range of Thanksgiving Dinner ingredients and came up with inflation rates of from 6 to 14 percent.

Not to mention shortages…

People have been talking about shortages of seasonal Holiday Dinner constituents, due to the persistent transport truck driver shortage and other, lesser factors. At least one TV news talking head I saw said, a week ago, that dinner hosts should get their turkeys early or risk being skunked. ‘Skunked’ is my word. I think they said ‘disappointed’. But if that didn’t start a run on turkeys, I don’t know what would. A self-fulfilling prophecy!

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says, officially, that there are no shortages: “There are currently no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no wide-spread disruptions reported in the supply chain.”

So there.

Affecting celebrations?

I think it’s notable that I haven’t seen or heard any reports that people are having to cut back their Thanksgiving Dinner plans as a result of rising food prices or shortages. I’m sure there would be heart-rending tales on the cable news networks and all over social media, spotlighting folks who had to betray family tradition by cutting back or cancelling their customary Thanksgiving celebrations, if the plentiful economic stories were true.

Did you rush out and buy your Thanksgiving Dinner supplies early, fearing a shortage? Did you cut back in any way as a result of alleged soaring prices? I suspect that very few folks cut back in any way on their Thanksgiving celebrations this year, and didn’t begrudge spending a little more for some Dinner ingredients, to ensure that family expectations were upheld and all involved were indeed, happy.

The TV people are still at it!

A New Day segment this morning says prices are not, in fact, up that much at the supermarket. The farmers are paying for it at the other end of the food chain! Costs of fertilizer, fuel and labour are all up sharply. One produce farmer said his operation normally makes up to $100,000 a year profit. But this year, he’s expecting to lose $80,000 to $120,000.

An appropriate sentiment?

So, I’ll close with what I hope is an appropriate sentiment: I wish my American readers and friends a heartfelt Cautiously Optimistic Thanksgiving!

~ Maggie J.