Thanksgiving 2019: A Survival Guide

Cayla Newman and Shira Shiber

Thanksgiving is officially here! Are you ready for the turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie? Probably not, right? Because that big Thanksgiving dinner table is full of people who know all your embarrassing stories and just how to get on your nerves. But never fear. Here’s how to cope with those awkward dinner conversations, so that you can make the most out of your Thanksgiving experience: 

Nosy Aunt Karen: “So are you still single?”

  • Ignore her, because most likely your mom will step in for you. Nothing is worse for her than hearing her sister bother her children. 

Bossy Younger Cousins: “You do want to play with me, right? MOM SHE DOESN’T WANT TO PLAY WITH ME!”

  • You can play with them or listen to the adults argue about politics and who’s raising whose children better. Up to you. 

Exclusive Older Cousins: “You’re too young; you wouldn’t understand.” 

  • The only things behind that locked door are teenagers being antisocial and spending way too much time on their phones. Find someone else instead; you don’t need them. Or…. nag until they let you in. 

Braggy Grandma: “Oh, you got an A? My other grandson got into Harvard with a 5.0!”

  • Don’t worry, she says the same thing about you to her other grandkids. She just wants the best for you… in her own grandma way. Just smile and nod… smile and nod. 

Embarrassing Father: “Remember fifteen years ago when you spit up at the dinner table? Oh my gosh you were such a troublemaker.” 

  • Don’t roll your eyes or he’ll be mad. Just laugh a little, then change the topic. Perhaps draw attention to the extra pounds he’s gained after quitting the gym. 

Strict Mother: “We don’t use our phones at dinner, so don’t even think about taking it with you to the table!” 

  • The classic American Mom setting rules for her children she knows they won’t follow—always competing with her sister on whose life is farther from falling apart. Don’t fret; you know your mom succeeded. 

Pedantic Uncle: “Are you SURE you want that second piece of pie?” (Looks casually at your stomach)

  • It’s Thanksgiving, okay? Indulge. You can eat whatever you want. It’s your food baby’s time to shine. You can just respond by asking the last time he hit the gym. He won’t say another word. 

Out of Touch Grandpa: silence

  • Don’t worry about him, he won’t talk much. You will find him at the head of the table with a big beer belly eating a slice of turkey with an excessive amount of gravy. He will always try to join conversations with his sons-in-law and will never miss the annual football game airing on TV.

Weird Fiftieth Cousin Who You Don’t Even Know How You’re Related To: “Wanna play chess?”

  • I mean—you can? If you’re in the mood to talk about his fishing adventures and Pokémon club then sure, but if you’re not then I’d steer clear. We don’t even know who invited him…