Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with food, family, and football. It’s a time to relax and enjoy everything that we’re grateful for. But as we all know, it isn’t without its fair share of challenges. So whether you’re on the road or staying at home, here are three Thanksgiving survival tips.
1. Stay out of the kitchen
Unless you’re doing the cooking, get out of there. For starters, the oven is going to be very hot, as will be the stove top. Then you have the cook, who no doubt does not appreciate your unsolicited turkey cooking tips or your body being in the way of the spoon drawer. God forbid you knock a freshly baked pie onto the floor. Seriously, the kitchen is meant for cooks or for passing through. Linger and forever regret it.
2. Choose your seat at the table wisely
The dinner table—it can be your safe haven or your worst nightmare. After all, you’re there for the food and good conversation, not to get your ear talked off by a rambling relative.
Paying attention to when dinner will be served is a vital first step. If you’re away in a far off room staring single-mindedly at the football game, there’s a good chance by the time you get to the table you’ll have limited options.
Ideally when you arrive to the dining room there will be three seats open, giving you the opportunity to create a protective barrier. Consider gesturing to some easy-going relatives to sit to your right and left. You don’t want to come off as demanding, though, so don’t force it. If you can slip in between two friendly faces that are already seated, that’s even better. It’s not as easy to control who sits on the other side of the table, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.
In the event that there are arranged seating positions, phrases like “That’s very interesting” and “I didn’t know that” are your friend.
Also, if it comes down to it, the kid’s table isn’t a bad option. Sure, their manners might not be the best, but they (most likely) won’t talk to you about politics or your relationship status.
3. Watch football
There are football games on at 12:30pm, 4:30pm, and 8:30pm. That’s basically the entire day. Not only will the conversation mostly be focused on the game, but you get to sit on a (hopefully) comfortable couch and relax. The only threat here is that someone is a fan of a rival team. Your best bet here is to offer up a sign of respect (e.g. “Well, your defense has played well this year.”), and hope that they return the favor.
Thanksgiving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow the advice above, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is your food coma and when to eat the leftovers.