November 10, 2023

By Shane Bennett

I’m going home to Indiana for Thanksgiving because when President Lincoln made it a holiday in 1863, he pretty much had midwestern moms and meals in mind. Are your plans coming together? Is there room at your table?

This may be the easiest time of year to take the plunge and invite some Muslims over. Since it might be too much for ol’ Aunt Lu to have “them” sitting next to her, you may want to have a second Thanksgiving. Either way is a win!

Make it happen:

  1. Get some buds and a date
    1. Doing this with friends doubles the odds you won’t bail, halves the labor and brings others into your craziness!
    2. Thanksgiving is Nov. 29th. Friday evening the 30th provides optimal availability and a legit reason to avoid Black Friday!
  2. Get guests
    Maybe you already know some Muslims you’d like to invite over. If you don’t, ask a local refugee agency, community college or university. International students sometimes have several free days, but their friends have gone home to be with Mom.
  3. Make a menu
    1. There are dozens of variables when deciding what to cook, but you’ll probably be fine if you remember: No wine or swine.
    2. Try for a halal turkey. If you buy it live and local, you should be fine except for the strictest Muslims.
    3. Go heavy on the veggies. Most people can eat most vegetables.
    4. Hoosiers take note: No bacon fat in the green beans! And while we’re at it, no green bean casserole! It’s may be halal, but it’s terrible!
  4. Prepare a plan (Take a deep dive here.)
    1. Be ready for expected guests to arrive with extra friends.
    2. Have some questions and conversation starters up your sleeve for dinner.
    3. After dinner play some easy to learn, high laughter-likely games.
  5. Follow up
    1. Get a group photo and email it out to your guests.
    2. Start talking about a Christmas gathering right away.
    3. If you get a payback invitation, take it!

This article was written by Shane Bennett and posted on his Muslim Connect blog on October 24, 2019

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