Your American Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

“I’m too drunk and full to talk about politics.”

~Someone doing Thanksgiving right


Thanksgiving is two days away, which means that some of you are definitely using that as an excuse to eat unhealthy and drink on weekdays.  And that’s good!  The best holidays are the ones you can kind of streeetch into a full week or more of unhealthy behavior, sort of like how Halloween almost always has a party for the weekend before and after the 31st of October.

But some people might not like Thanksgiving as much as our staff does.  While we enjoy spending time with our families, carefully navigating the “when do I switch from beer to wine so I’m not double fisting at the dinner table” dynamic and watching football games where people fumble off of butts, some Americans aren’t that lucky, and have to spend most of their time biting their tongue at Uncle Richard’s assertion that “Anderson Cooper’s one of those damn lizard people” as their Aunt Edna passive-aggressively criticizes all the dishes that she didn’t make. So for those of you who view Thanksgiving as a time to take a deep breath and mumble, “Okay, let’s get this over with” we humbly offer a few suggestions to make your Thanksgiving tolerable.  Or even kind of okay!

Your American Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

AFFotD Thanksgiving Tip #1:  Stay Away From Hard A

turkey  booze

Vodka both helps and hurts your Thanksgiving experience

Listen, if you’re spending Thanksgiving at a house filled with angry glances and terse silences, you’re going to want to get wasted for it.  And if you’re spending Thanksgiving at a house filled with good food and good company, you’re going to want to get wasted for it.  We’re just going to assume that you view any holiday as a good excuse to get wasted, as is your right as an American.

And by all means, go to town on beers while you watch football or help out in the kitchen.  Do that thing where you refill your wine when the glass is half-full so that your parents don’t realize you’re on your fourth glass already.  Don’t let us stop you, this is literally a holiday centered around being unhealthy with your family.  But steer clear of the hard stuff.

Science says that there’s no truth to the idea that different types of alcohol gets you different types of drunk.  But science also once thought Phrenology was an actual thing.  So we call bullshit.  Hard alcohol is going to get you snarky drunk, which is the last thing you want to be at a family meal.  Trust us on this.  Stick with the lighter stuff, take the day as a marathon and not a sprint, and be relieved when you wake up the next morning without a splitting headache or without having to ask yourself, “Oh God, did I call grandma the C-word?”

AFFotD Thanksgiving Tip #2:  No Politics At The Table


We’re not sure if you noticed, but 2016 was an election year.  Not everyone was happy about it!  Listen, talking about politics in an inter-generational setting is ill-advised no matter the year, but fresh off one of the most contentious elections in the history of the nation where at least someone wrote in “Listen, I don’t want any harm to come to these candidates, but can we just elect to send them away to a secluded island where they will be comfortable but will never have internet access again for the rest of their lives?” as their choice for President, it’s downright conversation suicide to try to bring that shit up.

Politics are always bad to mix with alcohol, but especially this year, it’s unnecessary.  This is the first election where pretty much everyone let their views be known.  You were either #withher, voted Trump, or wrote in Bernie Sanders or Bart Simpson or some shit.  But either way, we all know where everyone stands.  Let’s not re-hash that whole thing while we stuff our face with turkey.

AFFotD Thanksgiving Tip #3:  Offer to Help in the Kitchen, and Stay the Hell Away if No Help is Needed


Thanksgiving can be pretty stressful for the individuals toiling away all day in the kitchen, and there’s no better way to say “I’m kind of an asshole in social situations” like showing up to someone’s house and sitting back while demanding they bring you a feast.  So when you go into Thanksgiving, know two things.

1- No one wants your help.

2- You’re an asshole if you don’t offer that help.

Unless you’re established as reliably good at cooking, or maybe that one prisoner who can chop onions faster than Gordon Ramsay, you’re going to do nothing but get in the way.  Do you know the term “Too many cooks in the kitchen”?  It’s a recent phrase based off an Adult Swim video, but it’s a real thing.  That said, you want to at least let it be known that, should it be required, you’d be willing to help out.  That’s called manners.

AFFotD Thanksgiving Tip #4:  Watch Football, Even if You Don’t Root For Any of the Teams


Football during Thanksgiving is a tradition, true.  And most red-blooded Americans love watching giant men smash into each other as they increasingly realize that they’re watching people actually subtract years from their lives in front of their very eyes.  But even if you think “sports” are “dumb” and you’re the kind of person who “no one at the office holiday party wants to talk to” you should still sit and watch one (or two) (or three) of the NFL games airing on Thursday.

Why?  Because a lot of Thanksgiving is sitting around and waiting for people to finish cooking a turkey the size of a microwave and sixteen additional sides, and if you’re going to have something on to watch as background noise, you might as well have something that people don’t argue about.  If you offer everyone a choice of what they want you’ll get three movie suggestions, two people who will want to blindly channel surf to “see what’s on” and one fucking monster who DVR’d the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and actually wants you all to re-watch it.  Save yourself an argument and watch the damn football.

AFFotD Thanksgiving Tip #5:  If You’re Staying the Night, Go to the Theater and Catch a Movie


When you’ve gorged yourself to the point of sleepiness and incorrectly blamed it on the turkey, cleaned your plates, and broken the “no hard alcohol” rule because fuck off it’s like 7 PM if you want a whiskey you will drink a whiskey, you’re still going to have a few hours of post-festivities-lull where you don’t know what to do with your time.  Which is why you should go out to see a movie.

Listen, you may love your family, but you’re still going to be spending the night, and the following morning at least, with them.  And you just had a full day of pure conversation.  Sitting down in a dark room where you’re technically spending time together while actually making some sort of comment like “wow the actor who plays Harry Potter looks a lot like Eddie Redmayne now, crazy” to yourself for a few hours is the perfect way to wind down the evening.  If you’ve made it this far without some sort of disastrous argument, don’t push it.  Watch a movie together, and then invariably regret the fact that you took your homophobic uncle to see Moonlight.

AFFotD Thanksgiving Tip #6:  Be Thankful For the People in Your Life (Also For Beer)

beer cling

It’s easy to get cynical about Thanksgiving, but really it’s about spending time with those close to you, and getting just buzzed enough to distract you from the fact that your one cousin with the community college degree has been trying to talk to you about “your lord and savior Jesus Christ” for the last two hours.  Happy Thanksgiving, America!

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