Top 10 Tips to Manage Thanksgiving with a Sense of Humor

Gobble, gobble, y’all! We have officially entered the holiday season! And for many, this time of year can be stressful, and for some, it can be downright depressing. So here are some tips that will (hopefully) help you make it through the first part of the holiday season known as Thanksgiving.

  1. Tell yourself it’s just another Thursday with good food and football. It’s okay to down play the historical significance of the Pilgrims dining with the Indians. I’m pretty sure their Thanksgiving was fraught with conversation pitfalls, too.
  2. If you don’t want to go to someone’s house because of a potentially toxic situation, don’t go. I can’t stress this enough. You don’t have to be treated poorly because tradition dictates. Start your own tradition, one where you can be appreciated. Also, don’t invite rude people – even if they are family.
  3. Bring a gag gift. If you are one of those people who brings a hostess gift (like me) bring something fun. Screw the typical flowers or candle. How about glow-in-the-dark beer pong or a funny joke book. Obviously know your audience. Grandma may not approve of drinking games, but there’s something fun for everyone.
  4. Serve Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate. Are you raising a bunch of entitled punks? Mending a broken heart because your loser boyfriend dumped you for the holidays? Focusing your energy on the greater good will make you feel good. Not to mention you really get the true meaning of Thanksgiving by the simple fact of giving instead of the receiving.
  5. Clarify ahead of time those with picky eating requirements need to bring their own food. If Aunt Jane is a vegan or if little Joey is allergic to just about everything, don’t be held hostage to other people’s diet demand. Just tell them to bring their own (damn) food.
  6. If hosting the dinner, have the meal ready on time. So important. When people get hangry they become sarcastic, kids act up and couples bicker. It’s okay to wait 15 minutes for those who are always late, but then dig in because, oh well, they knew what time dinner was being served. As a side note: if guests are habitually late, but ask if they can bring something, assign dessert.
  7. Have a few new movies recorded or DVD’s on hand. Again know your audience. If little kids are going to be there don’t get something that requires intense focus. Light and fun are on the movie menu. Of course, there will be that one person who says they’ve seen everything (and hated it), but who cares about that person. Hand them a spiked drink.
  8. Establish a no politics zone. The only thing we can agree on is that we don’t agree with how to properly run this country. We all have different ideas and are entitled to them – no matter how wrong they are. But, here’s the thing, we want everyone to feel welcome and discussing politics is just asking for a fight.
  9. Say grace, but just one prayer that’s simple and blesses everyone and everything. The end. Dig in. Sometimes people like to sneak in ways to shame or guilt people, like those who couldn’t be there, or didn’t help. Let it go. The sooner you eat, the sooner they will leave.
  10. If you have kids, bring snacks for them, but no sugar. Sometimes there aren’t hors d’oeuvres or if there are, they aren’t kid friendly. Bring something that’s sure to be a hit for the kids and you will get the title of coolest family member/friend ever!

Where ever you spend it, I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving meal that doesn’t involve counting to ten multiple times or your knuckles turning whiter that the Turkey breast. My family and I are doing something totally knew this year. We are going to the Thanksgiving parade in downtown Houston. Yikes! Although this event is free, I bought tickets for bleacher seats so we won’t have to worry about some tall guy standing in front of us even though we got our spot 20 minutes before he arrived.

Top 10 Tips to Manage Thanksgiving with a Sense of Humor
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