Thanksgiving happens tomorrow! If you think you can just saunter into the holiday feast without preparation, you, my friend, are sorely mistaken. I’m not talking about food prep. I’m not talking about getting your house clean. I’m talking about preparing for dinner conversations. If you go in unarmed, it could lead to a social and emotional massacre. So here is your ultimate Thanksgiving Survival Guide.
Think about the volatility that has fractured this country post-election. The protests and the civil unrest doesn’t take time out for turkey and stuffing. No, it will merely hide under the surface during conversational pleasantries. These pleasantries, like the hors d’oeuvres, will soon evaporate leading you right into the main course. My goal here is to bridge that gap between small talk and your tryptophan-induced, post-meal coma. The objective is to steer clear of political talk… at all costs!
So take it from your snarky friend and follow these steps.
The Ultimate Thanksgiving Survival Guide
First, have some Thanksgiving themed trivia to keep the conversation going so your racist Aunt Helen doesn’t go full Sieg Heil while passing the gravy. I’ve listed ten useful bits of trivia below. Use at your own discretion.
Secondly, have some facilitation questions to keep everything light-hearted and chatty while avoiding the Nuremberg Rally-esque diatribes of some of your guests. Remember, people love talking about themselves. So keep ’em chatty and there should be little room to talk about politics.
Finally, if all else fails, have a few emergency recipes as a ripcord you can pull to release your inebriated parachute. This is a failsafe, last-ditch effort, but memory loss and blacking out can be your friend. You just need to secure a designated driver early in the day or there’s always Uber. Included below are some recipes that will do the trick.
So remember to follow these tips and put them into action immediately when you hear the first mention of “Making American Great Again” or “Crooked Hillary.”
It is my prayer that you survive this volatile holiday with family and friends. May the only insanity you experience be the mobs of Black Friday because, at least, Black Friday is something in which you choose to participate and not one that you married into. Enter into this glutton–esque holiday with confidence knowing that the biggest dilemma you should face is which belt to wear because you need one that can expand adequately to meet your turkey and stuffing consumption needs. It may be tempting but elastic waistbands are never an option. They’re only the sign of a deeper problem.
Thanksgiving Trivia to dazzle and distract your guests
- Turducken, which is a turkey stuffed with duck with a chicken inside (yes, you read that correctly), has become so popular that stores in Louisiana ship more than 5,000 a week before the holidays.
- Back in 1953, Swanson overestimated the number of turkeys it was going to sell for the holiday by 26 TONS. So, it took the leftover meat plus some trimmings and packaged it all up. Voila! The first TV dinner.
- There are actually four places in the United States called Turkey. Louisiana’s Turkey Creek is the most populous with an impressive 440 residents. Then, there’s Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Arizona. And last but definitely not least, there are two townships in Pennsylvania named Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot!
- Forget Black Friday, according to Roto-Rooter, the nation’s largest plumbing service, Thanksgiving is the busiest day for plumbers. So eat up folks… the plumbers need your help.
- No more ‘gobble gobble.‘ Only the male turkeys, called Toms, make the gobble sound. The females, called Hens, cackle.
- Uncle Frank isn’t the only one at the table prone to heart attacks. Turkeys have them too. When the Air Force conducted test runs for breaking the sound barrier, fields of nearby turkeys would drop dead.
- More than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.
- Twenty percent of cranberries eaten are eaten on Thanksgiving.
- The Guinness Book of Records states that the greatest dressed turkey weight recorded for a turkey is 86 lbs, at the annual “heaviest turkey” competition held in London, England on December 12, 1989.
- Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, where peacocks are found in considerable number. He believed turkeys were a type of peacock (they’re actually a type of pheasant). So he named them “tuka”, which is “peacock” in the Tamil language of India.
Thanksgiving Conversation Starters
- What is your favorite Thanksgiving Tradition?
- Who is someone you need to show more gratitude for and why?
- What was your most memorable meal of the year?
- Black Friday: thumbs up or thumbs down?
- What are your favorite stories to tell?
- What pop-culture family reminds you most of your own?
- What movie should definitely be nominated for an Oscar this year?
- What is your favorite part of winter?
- Discuss how a cup of coffee, or a good song, or a painting can have a deep impact on you?
- What have you been obsessed with the most in 2016?
Emergency Inebriation Options For Survival
- The “Healthy” Option – Mix Vodka (you choose the amount) in a glass with ice and add 1 packet of orange-flavored Emergen-C. Boost that immune system while you kill your liver. Two steps forward with two steps back? Perhaps, but keep these things coming and you’ll soon be able to tune out those racist relatives. Just keep telling yourself, “This is healthy…”
- The “Sneaky” Option – Open up a beer (any kind will do), take a deep swig then fill that space in your bottle with whiskey. You can keep refilling and nursing that one beer all day. If anyone asks, reply, “This is my first beer…” You’re not technically lying.
- The “College Flashback’ Option – Remember your old friend, Jägermeister? Yeah, it was nasty but did the trick. One way to cut the taste and make it a bit more palatable is to add root beer. Finding the right mixer is always key.
Bonus: Always remember to bring a full flask to events like these, you never know when you need an emergency ration. If all else fails, just excuse yourself from the table for a moment, drain the flask and then enjoy the rest of your day.