Mosaic Guide: How to survive Thanksgiving with your family

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Satya Murthy/flickr
Despite the food, Thanksgiving can often be a stressful time.

BY
MOSAIC ASSIGNMENT EDITOR

Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s a magical time when everyone gathers ’round to be awful toward one another, all in the spirit of family. Do you want to get through this year’s festivities unscathed? Then heed my advice.

For starters, you can:

Lower your expectations.

That’s right, bring ‘em all the way down. Look, I know you have hope that this year will be different, and that’s cute, but also sad. You know that thing called your “soul?” Yeah, well, your family’s going to crush it, so you might as well just put that away for safekeeping. Really though: people don’t change, and your clan is no exception. So if you don’t have hopes in the first place, they can’t possibly be let down. Do you hear me? DASH THOSE DREAMS, SON.

Now that you’ve caught the holiday spirit, it’s time to:

Eat your feelings.

There’s no tastier way to suppress your emotions or wallow in self-loathing than with food abuse. It’s also an excellent defense strategy: you’re a civilized human person, and no one can possibly expect you to answer invasive questions with your mouth full. Seriously, never stop eating. And if you get full, quit whining. MORE PIE FOR YOUR PIEHOLE. No one will even accuse you of gluttony, because it’s not: it’s just Thanksgiving. I mean, our pilgrim forefathers escaped the tyranny of England for the fundamental right to gorge themselves, then vomit promptly afterward.

That’s what this holiday is about, right? Right.

Anyway, though your mouth is full of food, you should still go ahead and:

Shut it. Shut your face.

I understand that this one might be a little difficult. Do you find your uncle’s views on politics abhorrent? You’re probably right! But shut up. Is grandma making wildly unfounded claims about your love life/personal grooming/general existence? Yeah, she’s the worst. Now cork it. What do you possibly have to gain by arguing back? Vindication? No. The only thing you’ll have to show for it is the simmering grudge you’ll take to your grave. Perhaps also a dash of high blood pressure. This year, there’ll be none of that “speaking” nonsense out of you. I mean it! If you must be seen, then you better not be heard.

On a related note,

Don’t be a jerk.

I hate to bring this up, but have you ever thought that maybe you’re the one who’s the problem? (I know, you’re great, and everyone sucks and you’re a special snowflake who can do no wrong, but bear with me.) Remember that “golden rule” thing everyone’s always talking about: treat others the way you want to be treated. Are you a hammer, screwdriver or wrench? No? Then don’t be a tool.

Create a diversion.

So you decided to ignore my previous advice, and you opened your fat mouth. Now you’re trapped in conversation with some irrelevant relative, and it’s not going well. But everything’s cool because you’re about to follow the advice I’m giving you right now: bring some diversions.

“Am I dating anyone? Well you see—OH MY STARS, IT’S RAINING PUPPIES! LOOK, GO CATCH ONE!”

“Did I gain weight? I don’t really—DEAR LORD, THERE’S A FIRE! IT’S BURNING EVERYWHERE SO HOT OW!”

(Obligatory disclaimer: This should go without saying, but arson is bad, mkay? Don’t actually become an arsonist. It’s not cool and in more ways than one.)

Once everyone is sufficiently distracted by puppies, fire and/or burning puppies (never hurts to get creative!), you can plot your escape. Might I suggest you make your way to Cancun? I hear it’s lovely this time of year.

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