November 22, 2012

10 Ways To Survive Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is here which means lots of quality time with the family (settle down I know how super excited that makes you). Large or small, in-laws or at your own home, having to strike up conversation with your great grandmother that all of sudden seems a little racist and randomly throws out a cuss word, and everyone running around making such a fuss about the food that you’d think the world was ending and this was the last meal. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, or maybe it’s a love/hate relationship. I love the day of Thanksgiving, but pretty much  can’t wait to escape the next three days of “vacation”. Arguments, awkward conversations and dry stuffing are just some of the things you will have to deal with. Here are 10 ways to make it through Thanksgiving, and maybe even make it fun.

  1. Don’t argue. At all. No matter what relatives tells you about their thoughts on the election, or says something you know isn’t true (that movie Lincoln stars Russell Crowe, for example), just let it slide. Don’t correct them. You know the facts, and you know stating the facts is useless, because some people just want to believe what they believe, and arguing with them is pointless. Fake a smile, nod your head, and go find the wine.
  2. Watch funny cat, baby, dog, and of course the hybrid cat/baby/dog videos on YouTube. I stand by the fact that nothing in this world brings people together more than watching a kitten do pretty much anything. Have some good videos bookmarked and ready to break out when needed.
  3. Stay out of the kitchen. For some reason, on Thanksgiving, whomever is running the show in the kitchen isn’t your mom anymore, she’s now a contestant on “Chopped”. Sweating, frantic, talking to herself, and if you take ONE STEP into that kitchen, all hell might break loose. State your purpose if you need to go in there: “Uh, mom…I mean, ma’am, just getting a cookie, I’ll be out of your…..and then RUN! RUN FAR AWAY WITH THAT COOKIE!
  4. Be agreeable. I’m not saying to ignore your opinions and to not have thoughts, I’m just saying over Thanksgiving, be agreeable. You will be amazed how much tension that takes out of the room and how, oddly, you will feel better at the end of the night, knowing it was you that was the better person, not like your cousin who couldn’t agree with a hobbit. (Is that a thing? Just seems like hobbits would be real chill and agreeable.)
  5. Drink. Not ‘Drunk Uncle’ style, whom I’m sure we would all love to have at our Thanksgiving, but keep the wine flowing, and get a little goofy. It will make some of the comments you hear that would normally drive you mad become funny.
  6. Ask questions to the old people in your family. It’s highly entertaining to hear your grandmothers’ story about a trip she took to India in 1930, or hear a great aunt talk about her first love. This is an opportunity to see real sincerity from the elders in your family who normally either don’t have a clue what’s going on or just want to complain.
  7. Play games. Card games. Puzzles. It doesn’t matter, but the more you play games, specifically the kinds that make you decide if someone is bull shitting or telling the truth, are just fun. Because the answers and dialog you get from a young niece to the oldest relative is always solid gold. Then you can tweet it! Just kidding, don’t be that guy.
  8. Chill of your social media and feeds for a day or two. Just disconnect all together. You don’t constantly need your phone in your hand checking stuff that doesn’t matter at that moment. This isn’t only good for you, to check out for a bit, but it also leads to actually conversing with your family, and maybe even picking up an actual book. Be anti-social online, family social offline.
  9. If you’re back in your hometown, go to a bar, by yourself. No need to make a fuss about it, or try to find people to join you. Pick out one of your favorite old bars, and go in and grab a drink. Strike up conversations with strangers and become flooded with memories. It’s a perfect chance to get nostalgic, and possibly even bump into that girl you had a crush on years ago.
  10. Go on walks. Explore. Get out of the house for 30 minutes here and there. Take the dogs, or go alone, or ask your sister or someone you haven’t talked to in awhile to join you. Go outside and breath. Enjoy the chill air, and talk about nothing. Or if you go alone, think about nothing. Just enjoy the moment.

Happy Thanksgiving! TC mark

image – ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59

David Dean

David Dean is the publisher of Serial Optimist and writer of things that hopefully make you smile. He is a comedy …

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