Thanksgiving Day, for some reason, is when tension among family is the highest. Maybe it’s because it’s usually the first time in a while that everyone sees their extended family. Maybe it’s that plus the stress of preparing 50 dishes for 50 people in one day and cleaning up afterward. On top of all this, people usually drink, which has the potential to escalate what is already a stress-filled day into a full-on fight. Dealing with tension is tough, so we at the Clog are giving you some unconventional tips to squash the tension — or should we say beef — during your (COVID-19-safe) Thanksgiving dinners!
Use your wishbone wish to wish for peace
We recommend training your muscles in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Preferably push-ups, pull-ups and bench presses. When your little cousin wants to pull on the wishbone, use your newfound strength to win the largest piece. After comforting your cousin who lost, find a quiet, private place. Close your eyes and ask the magical turkey gods to bring peace to your family and to end their bickering.
Deflect, deflect, deflect
If you hear anyone start to bring up a controversial topic — for example, if they start with, “So, the election …” — you should immediately take a huge bite of food and pretend to choke. I don’t mean just a little cough and you’re good; I mean bang your hands on the table, flail your body around and whip out your very best acting skills to make everyone think you’re about to pass out. Hopefully, you are dramatic enough so that everyone completely forgets about the conversation and helps you recover. Then, with luck, they spend the rest of the evening continually asking how you are and avoiding drama.
Come to dinner with a list of the worst dad jokes ever
There’s nothing more distracting than cringeworthy comedy! Every time one of your relatives tries to talk politics with you or ask you about past family drama, be sure to only respond with dad jokes. For bonus points, make them holiday-themed. They will get so confused or bored with you that you’ll win: You won’t have to engage in conflict for the rest of the night!
Stand up and announce to the table you stuck a prize in the turkey
If you hear things getting tense or about to escalate from zero to 100 (face it, we all know the telltale signs), stand up and inform the table you have a super important announcement. Tell them you’ve hidden a very special surprise in one of the dishes, and the first person to find it will win a hefty monetary prize. Everyone will be so busy stuffing their faces that they will have no time to converse. Silence and good food? Sounds like a win for everyone.
Holiday get-togethers can be the source of both great joy and great stress, and for some, it falls somewhere in between. We at the Clog hope you can use these tips to have an easy-breezy family dinner, Bears!
Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].