Let’s try to avoid throwing food this year, shall we?
This article was originally published for The Odyssey on November 21, 2016.
It is that time of year again! The turkey is cooking, the potatoes are simmering, and you are more than ready to eat your three plus plates of dinner. Your family is sitting down. Everyone has a drink and starts eating. Then, out of no where, that one aunt or uncle opens their mouth to talk about the election. Suddenly, everything is ruined because your family cannot have a civilized discussion, and you cover your face waiting for the food to start flying. Concept: You save the day by changing the subject to a safe topic. Here are twelve to start with.
If you are in college, or one of your cousins is, this is an annoying, but safe topic to talk about. You know the questions everyone is going to ask. “No, I do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend.” “Yes, I am getting enough sleep.” “Yes, campus is very safe.” “No, I do not party or drink.” Easy as pie.
You know that your aunt and mom have a crazy obsession with “Dancing With The Stars”. Talk it up! Ask them how they feel about the latest finalists and who they think will win. Spend as much time on this as possible.
3. Everyone’s Health
There is always one family member that loves to talk about their back issues. Ask them a hundred questions. Go down the family member line. Keep going until you are no longer a part of the conversation. Take a breather.
4. The Superbowl Halftime Show
If the females are not particularly interested, although some are, try navigating them to a common subject, like Ellen DeGeneres, or this week’s issue of People Magazine. Get them in their little circles and they can go for hours.
As long as the conversation doesn’t turn to the fight over immigrants and refugees, feel free to throw this award-winning Broadway musical in there. Talk about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “SNL” episode. Have a sing-a-long over dinner.
7. The Old Days
8. Black Friday
10. Upcoming Plans for December
If there are any babies in the family, turn the conversation to them. If they are present, even better. If there are no babies, ask for baby stories. Note: You put yourself at risk of embarrassment for this one.
The biggest no-brainer. Compliment the cook. Ask your aunt if she has that pumpkin pie recipe. Talk about the creamy mashed potatoes. Ask your dad if he will teach you how to carve the turkey next year.
You did it! You survived Thanksgiving Dinner! Next challenge: surviving dessert.