How To Be Thankful With Your Family

It is officially the week of Thanksgiving. It is also the beginning of the holiday season. This inherently means 1 thing… now begins the period of time where everyone gets together with their family. Now I am one of those college graduates who actually gets along quite well with my family and don’t mind family gatherings. However for those of you who are not so lucky, I have created this field guide. Feel free to pull this up on your phone and consult it on Turkey Day if need be.

Step 1: Turn your cell phone on silent. There is absolutely nothing worse than being “that person” whose phone rings at the table… and if you’re lucky it will ring in the middle of a prayer. Just put it on vibrate and if absolutely necessary you can go to the bathroom later to answer them.

Step 2: Figure out in advance what your dress code for the event is. You don’t want to be the person who shows up in jeans when everyone is dressed up to the max. It’s just awkward.

Step 3: Never, ever be the first person to make a plate of food. You will be deciding the future of everyone in the family if you do. By reserving yourself to a later position in line you can follow suit and blend in seamlessly. Otherwise you will end up as the guy who took far too much on your first serving, opening yourself up to judgement by the rest of the group.


Safe Topics: (these are listed here so that you can easily identify what is acceptable to talk about… remember, this is Thanksgiving, not a battleground)

  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Let’s be honest, there’s pretty much nothing controversial in the parade and nothing to argue about. The little kids are always cute. Al Roker always looks like he is freezing. Miley Cyrus was most certainly lip syncing. It’s pretty straight forward.
  • The food. Nothing makes you look more endearing and more considerate that complimenting the chef. But don’t turn into the person who says how amazing every bite is. If you do that you start looking like your covering up for something.
  • What your parents are up to. This does two thing simultaneously: 1) It occupies the air space, leaving your only responsibility to be chewing and occasionally nodding your head, 2) It keeps your parents from asking about your job and living situation that they may or may not approve of.


  • Politics. This is just a “duh” thing.
  • Sports. This is possibly even more important than politics. Few things can pull a family apart around the holidays that sports. Just don’t mention it.
  • Your job and/or living situation. I will personally utilize this tip this year. There is no reason to bring up your waitressing job or your tiny studio apartment at the Turkey-time table.
  • Never compliment your own food. We have all witnessed that one family member who is like, “Hey have you tried the green bean casserole? Isn’t the green bean casserole awesome? I made that casserole. Don’t you love it?” Ok, calm down Ina Garten. Let’s take off the oversized button up and sit ourselves down. Chew, swallow, and repeat. That’s all we need from you.

Also I would just like to leave you with this final thought… if you ever get overwhelmed with all the cooking and what not going on, remember that this exists in the real world, and you can do it…


I hope these tips and tricks help you make it through Thanksgiving. Comment below with any of your helpful ideas. And subscribe for more helpful holiday hints.

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