Ready or not, Thanksgiving is here. The relatives are coming. Prepare now!
We hate to be the bearers of anxiety, but the family holiday season is here. We know how many of you do your best to avoid family all year long, especially extended family. The cousins were great playmates when you were kids, but now they’re annoying, frustrating, and occasionally even infuriating. They ask far too many questions, such as whatever happened to that date you brought with you last Thanksgiving. When they’re not asking prying questions, they’re giving you way too much information about their own lives. Did you really want to know how often one has to change the diapers on a baby with diarrhea? No, of course you didn’t.
Across the country, anxiety over the holidays leads to everything from shortness of breath to heart palpitations to the sudden onset of a very serious flu when you find out Aunt Mildred is bringing her infamous onion casserole. These feelings are so widespread that #SurvivalGuideToThanksgiving is trending with such heavy input that I can’t keep up. Naturally, when I saw that, I shelved other plans I had for today and immediately started assembling some of the best advice I could find. After all, we would hate for anyone to suffer unnecessarily. If you’re going to suffer, make sure everyone else is even more uncomfortable than you are. Maybe that will be enough to keep them all home for the next family gathering sometime in December.
Not that we’re totally cynical, mind you. We’ll toss in some practical suggestions along the way. It’s up to you to determine which are serious, though. For all I know, maybe you should bring your own turkey baster. That’s totally up to you.
Suggestions from Twitter
There areally are some brilliant minds on Twitter at times and hashtag games such as this is when some of the best show up. I didn’t really want to take the time to sort through all the best, though, so here are some of the first ones that I thought were at least mildly amusing.
Everyone has a “crazy” Aunt who comes at Thanksgiving. If she’s not there this year, just assume it’s your mom. #SurvivalGuideToThanksgiving
— Matthew Kick (@MatthewKick) November 21, 2016
— Cornelius Applesauce (@almostamouthful) November 21, 2016
#survivalguidetothanksgiving Don’t be afraid to tell them “It’s a Dessert Wine !” when they find you in the closet drinking from a bottle.
— Uncle Haggis (@PIEKAKE1) November 21, 2016
Eat until you can’t move. Play dead until the dishes are done. #SurvivalGuideToThanksgiving
— Mark Lamprecht ن (@MarkALamprecht) November 21, 2016
#SurvivalGuideToThanksgiving anytime ur aunt says “Make America Great Again!” steal one item of food off her plate
— ileana fernandez (@ileanafdzz) November 21, 2016
A Bit Of Practical Advice
Fun and frivolity aside, there are some practical things you probably should do in preparation for spending a day with relatives. We have some suggestions here as well, but we’re saving those for the next section down. Here’s some of the best from what we culled from Twitter.
— UGG (@UGG) November 21, 2016
#SurvivalGuideToThanksgiving spend it with someone else’s family. Offer to help clean up & they’ll love ya!
— Geaux Tide (@AngelaChelsey) November 21, 2016
Soup kitchens need volunteers, gratitude is a physical practice. #SurvivalGuideToThanksgiving
— Biggons (@BIGGONSanything) November 21, 2016
Taping a sprig of parsley to your bottle of Wild Turkey gives it a festive flair #SurvivalGuideToThanksgiving
— Darren Huxter (@darren_huxter) November 21, 2016
— ((( Xuan ))) (@UncleTacoMan) November 21, 2016
Now For The Good Stuff
There are plenty of ideas out there that are worth sharing. We were surprised, however, that we didn’t see some of the more obvious suggestions. Sure, there were multiple takes on drinking as much as possible and leaving in earphones and keeping your mouth full. What we missed were some of the more certain ways to make the holiday memorable and increase your chances of not being invited to the next one. So, here’s what we have to offer.
- Arrive early. We’re not kidding. Arrive a couple of hours early. Blame insomnia or a bad clock or maybe even say that since your homeless this year you didn’t really have anywhere else to go. Go early and make sure you don’t stop talking. If you can avoid taking a breath, do so. You don’t want to give anyone a chance to get a word in edge-wise. This way, everyone will be so tired of you by the time dinner is over you can leave immediately and everyone else will be truly thankful.
- Offer to help in the kitchen and then “accidentally” drop the dishes you know no one actually wants to eat, such as Cousin Laverne’s caramel-covered asparagus casserole. Laverne might be devastated, but everyone else in the family will thank you.
- Do your own play-by-play for the football game you’re listening to on your phone, not the one everyone is watching on television. If they’re truly football fans, they’ll appreciate the extra effort you’re putting into the holiday.
- Bring your own paper plate and plastic utensils. Tell everyone you’ve heard that there’s a really bad case of hand-foot-and-mouth disease going around and you’re not taking any chances. Notice how everyone gives you a 10-foot safety barrier the rest of the day.
- Fill your pockets with candy and distribute it freely to all your nieces, nephews, and second cousins. Make sure they all get plenty of sugar. Then leave before their parents have a chance to kill you.
- Practice binge eating the first to days of the week then fast 24 hours before the meal. This stretches your stomach so that you can eat more on Thanksgiving day and makes sure you’re hungry enough to down an extra helping of gravy.
- Remember to make sure that you have plenty of all your medication to get you through the entire weekend. You’re not getting anywhere near a pharmacy this weekend. Besides, there’s no Black Friday sale on Valium.
- Get down the scrapbook and brush up on all your cousins’ names, or at least the ones they were using before they went into the witness protection program.
- Bring your dog. No, not the tiny cute one that lives in your purse and thinks it’s a dog. Bring the rottweiler or the saint bernard. You know, something that will clear the table of food before anyone human can be poisoned.
- Slip a bottle of ipecac into your pocket. You never know when you’ll need to fake the flu—or take evasive action against food poisoning. Either way, it will get you out of having to endure family the rest of the day.
- Dress like a turkey and accuse everyone else at the table of cannibalism. Hold the roasted turkey in your arms lovingly and chant, “Foul Lives Matter!”
- Pretend you just got a job at Target and have to be at work by 6:00.
- Pull out your shotgun and while you’re cleaning it explain to the children in the room exactly how you tracked down that big ol’ turkey and BOOM, blew it’s ever-loving head right off. No one will challenge you for the drumsticks now.
- Remind everyone, again, that they did not have jellied cranberry sauce at the original thanksgiving and that the entire holiday is a complete sham unless the family massacres the neighbors the next day.
- Pray for peace and then throw hard rolls at Cousin Elmer for not closing his eyes during the prayer.
I could probably come up with more and if you need additional help just let me know and I’m sure we can come up with something to fit your specific situation. Personally, I’m doing the cooking here. I’m not waiting for the tryptophan to kick in with the kids, though. I’m loading the stuffing with sleeping pills. We WILL have a quiet afternoon one way or the other.
Hope this helps. Have a great holiday!!