WASHINGTON — Thanksgiving is a day for family, friends and altogether too much food.
Even the Maine congressional delegation, whose day-to-day lives are different than most — weathering elections and long floor battles, allocating billions in federal funds to help the folks back home — will give their power suits a break and celebrate a largely traditional turkey day back home in the Pine Tree State.
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, said he plans to spend the holiday in East Millinocket, though his plans were not set in stone early this week.
“We’re still working out the details, but I might be hosting Thanksgiving at my house,” he said in an e-mail response to a query about his plans.
Michaud called turkey “a favorite” and said that the bird, along with pumpkin pie and homemade whipped cream, definitely would be making an appearance at the family dinner.
Besides the meal itself, Michaud said, he uses the holiday to remember others’ sacrifices.
“I am also thankful for the service of our men and women in uniform. Here at home, I have been touched by the dedication of our troop greeters and thankful that Americans understand and realize the challenges faced by our soldiers and their families,” he said. “The holidays can be a particularly tough time for military families, and I am thankful for the support our state gives them.”
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan, will head to Snowe’s cousin’s house in Old Orchard Beach for a family dinner on what she called “one of America’s most cherished holidays.”
Snowe said she was thankful for members of the military at home and abroad, as well as for other people in her life.
“We are extraordinarily thankful for the health and happiness of loved ones, and the magnificent beauty and bounty of our great state and nation,” she said in a statement. “And at this challenging economic time we also pause to express appreciation to those countless individuals of good will and compassion who give selflessly of themselves to brighten the lives of so many during these difficult days. They truly embody the enduring resolve and can-do spirit that are the hallmarks of Maine and America.”
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is headed for her brother Gregg’s house in Caribou, where her parents, brothers and sisters, and “many nieces and nephews” will gather.
“I am making creamed onions, a Collins family favorite,” she said in an e-mail message. “And my mother, Pat, is baking all of the delicious pies.”
Collins is also making a donation to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, which she said she does annually.
“So many Maine families are struggling in this tough economy, and especially during this holiday season, it is important that we remember those who are less fortunate,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, has a very hands-on Thanksgiving planned. Pingree, before going into politics, was a farmer in Maine, and one of her family’s Thanksgiving traditions is raising the turkey they will eventually carve in their North Haven home. Most of the vegetables and produce that will be on Pingree’s table were grown at home, spokesman Willy Ritch said.
Pingree will host “a couple dozen” family members for Thanksgiving dinner, including her children, her grandson and others.
“She really likes Thanksgiving,” Ritch said. “It feels like a really relaxed holiday. It’s just making the meal and having the family over.”