Thanksgiving is supposed to be about being thankful and spending time with families, but that time isn’t always pleasant. In the spirit of making thing a bit more fun, we thought we would put together a list of ways you might best navigate the holiday with relatives who may not be the people you prefer to spend your time off with. In more extreme cases, you may even be able to ward them off without actually telling them not to darken your doorway.
Thanksgiving Table Tips
- Compliments to the chef. Sure you want to praise the chef, because putting together a huge family meal isn’t easy, but if you want to reduce the number of people seated at the table, be sure to mention that brutal, chest-wrenching cough the chef just got over. And thank goodness he or she only had a slight fever when getting things prepped!
- No offense! What’s the worst thing your relatives would have to deal with on Thanksgiving? An alcohol-free celebration? A smoke-free environment? Maybe a mandatory game of Scrabble to really liven things up. Think hard, then pick your poison and make sure everyone knows about it. Be warned, following through on your promises is expected! (If you need a drink for that political discussion that’s about to unfold between your conservative self and your liberal in-law, banning alcohol might not be the best option.)
- It’s time for the in-laws to bond. Don’t get along with your mother-in-law? Maybe your daughter-in-law just grates on your spouse’s last nerve. If so, make sure all the in-laws are seated next to each other, with all the children between you and them. Then, watch the fun unfold as the in-laws struggle through their best behavior, mindful of the child right next to them.
- Ban the phones. Are you tired of watching family dinners go by with more time spent on phones than talking at the table? Consider using a signal jammer to create a phone-free zone. Then, turn off your wi-fi or change the known password so guests can’t focus on status updates rather than the spirit of the holiday.
In all seriousness, we want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, with hopes that blessings rain down on you and your loved ones! (And try not to be too hard on your in-laws; they either raised the one you chose to spend your life with or are raising a new generation under the watchful and ever-judgemental eye of the Internet.)