10 Tips To Surviving Turkey Day With The Fam
Holidays are a magical time of the year. It’s a time for reflecting on the year that was, looking ahead to the months to come and cherishing the friends and family that mean the most to you. It’s also a time when any chinks in the family armor show themselves in all their dysfunctional glory. Particularly around the Thanksgiving table tempers can flare after a few glasses of vino. But to keep things civil and laid back, let us give you some helpful advice to surviving Thanksgiving with the fam.
Be honest, but not at the dinner table. We mean have realistic expectations for your Turkey Day dinner. Years of family issues aren’t going to resolve themselves in a single kumbaya moment over the bird and some cranberries. While it’s completely possible to have an enjoyable, civil holiday even if your family isn’t perfect, don’t get your hopes up too high and keep things in perspective.
If you have the onerous task of hosting Thanksgiving in your home or are in charge of seating arrangements or other such tasks, make sure you aim for an uneventful, even boring evening. Now, we know how tempting it is to sit back and watch some fireworks pop off, but trust us that instant satisfaction doesn’t hold a candle to the discomfort of a holiday family squabble. Sure it would be fun to sit your two aunts who can’t stand each other side-by-side to see what happens, but believe us it’s not worth the trouble, hurt feelings or possible smack session. Be nice.
Not to say that you should head into Thanksgiving dinner rolling five-deep, but if you’re able to have a significant other or good friend nearby, it could certainly help to ease tensions and provide some much needed distraction if family time simply becomes too overwhelming.
Keep To Neutral Subjects
It’s go-time. You’re at your Thanksgiving Day locale and you’re poised to spend the next 3-5 hours there. That’s a lot of time for a foot to unceremoniously land in someone’s mouth. Do your part to keep things on a fairly positive trajectory by sticking to subjects that aren’t ripe for someone to get completely miffed. The age-old adage of shying away from discussions on politics or religion is a good start, but also refrain from bringing up any other subjects ripe for controversy, which leads us into …
Don’t Dredge Up The Past
We are all about talking out your feelings and not keeping your frustration and anger bottled up, but Thanksgiving dinner is not (we repeat, NOT) the time to air out the dirty, festering laundry. If having a serious discussion is something that you ultimately want to see happen between yourself and a family member, then find a time that is more private and less tense than a large family gathering to have a chat.
If You Feel Yourself Getting Frustrated …
Take a break! Get some air! Make a run to your car, let out a nice, big scream and compose yourself before heading back in for Round 2.
Keep The Booze In Check
Holidays are the perfect time to knock back a few and relax with family and friends. And while we’re not trying to put a complete damper on a good tipsy time, we would be remiss to not caution against getting too hammered around family members. While a few libations can certainly prompt some unexpected bonding, it can also cause some loose lips that will undoubtedly sink some family ships.
Compliments Go A Long Way
Whether as simple as complimenting your cousin’s incredible shoe game or applauding your brother’s promotion at work, a short and sweet compliment can go a long to breaking the ice or simply setting the tone for a more positive evening. Don’t go nuts laying it on thick and in turn coming off super disingenuous, but a few nice comments will certainly show your willingness to rise above.
When It Doubt, Turn On The Tunes
Whether it’s some Stevie Wonder, Al Green or The Commodores, tossing on some tunes can instantly change the dynamics of a room. While we’re not saying that it will instantly make all relatives on the outs embrace each other, music seems to have the uncanny ability to simmer everyone down just a bit.
Don’t Feel Bad About An Early Exit
As much as you might try to keep your frustration in check and make sure that peace is reigning supreme during your family get together, we can’t blame you if making an early exit is in the cards. And, in all honestly, if you feel yourself getting a little hot under the collar, then biding adieu is probably the right call. Say your good-byes and go on your merry, drama-free way.