Look, we all know it—Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday for the weak. It’s twenty-four exhausting hours of in-laws, reality checks, unchewable turkey and ugh, the tryptophan–what a punch to the gut. We want to help you make it through this year’s special day with your sanity, and self-respect, intact. So we thought you could use this guide to Thanksgiving success, based on others’ fails. Come and get it.
1. Most Stores Close on Thanksgiving
Forget a thing or two on Thanksgiving Day and you're entirely at the mercy of the nearest gas station shelf. So check that shopping list twice or you may be stuck serving your new mother-in-law corned beef hash and day-old donuts.
2. Pick Out an Appropriate Wardrobe
Sometimes #Twinning can really backfire, so make sure you show up dressed for the right table.
3. Wear Yoga Pants
If your plate’s empty and you’re not thankful for every overworked fiber in your stretchy pants, you’re doin’ it all wrong. Grab a plate and go back for seconds. Or hit up another house a few doors down and start from scratch.
4. Family + Your Date = 100% Awkward
There really is no way around that awkward moment when that new special someone of yours gets to meet the fam. It’s gonna get weird, especially when Uncle Rick shows up, so you’d best to just get it over with and rip it off like a Band-Aid.
5. The Dinner Bell Rings When It’s Good and Ready.
Turkeys take time and those kitchen smells will drive you nuts, so you may wanna pack a few snacks in those pockets of yours.
6. You Don't Get to Pick Where You Sit
Look, If you’re a grown-up and still wearing unicorn sweatshirts and hair bows, don’t be surprised (or insulted) if they sit you at the kiddos table. On a side note, it’s also a free pass out of the usual football and politics talk, so there’s always that.
7. You May Not Like The Food
Save the surprises for Christmas, because there’s absolutely no room for anything but the traditional on Thanksgiving. Tofurkey? Really? How can you eat turkey without a turkey?
8. Not Everyone Can Cook
To pull off the perfect Thanksgiving meal, everybody’s gotta pitch in. Sure, the “turkey master” gets all the credit, but you’re the star when it comes to finding the kind of plate that won’t buckle under the pressure of a full helping of everything.
9. Following Recipes Can Be a Challenge
Sure it made sense at the time, but this is why we leave the cooking to the pros. No one will ever forget the Thanksgiving they spent burping bubbles, we promise.
10. Always Use a Turkey Spotter
Do you even lift turkeys, bro? Don’t worry, though, we call the 10-second rule on this one. Just baste ‘er up again and Don’t. Tell. Anyone.
11. You Will Have to See Other People
Pumpkin pie happens once a year. So swallow that unhealthy angst, put on a nice shirt, and do it for the pie like everybody else.
12. What If Someone Wants to Talk to You
Don’t worry, you can get through this, we believe in you. Just prepare your blanket answers and at least 5 or 6 rehearsed questions and stay away from religion, politics and new piercings.
13. Things May Get a Little Weird...
They’re gonna find out someday, but this probably shouldn’t be that day. If the convo takes a strange turn, try changing the subject, or asking for more butter.
14. You May Have to Answer Questions
Repeat after us, “Things are just awesome. I just got promoted to Sr. Experimental Drug Tester and the hair should be back by July.” Trust us, that conversation will be over in no time.
15. And Put Up with Commentary
Just tell her it’s the 8 hours of sleep you get each night, then rattle off a bunch of bingo calls that sound like vitamins: B12, I25, N39, G52 and so on. That’ll keep her quiet…for now. She’ll be back with more.
16. The Conversation Will Never Be What You Hoped for
Maybe your wife should switch from Chardonnay to soda water, even if she’s right.
17. Gotta Love Mom No Matter What
Small price to pay, she spent years watch-deep in your diapers, pal. Just let her have this one.
18. Leftovers Have an Expiration Date
As magical as Thanksgiving leftovers are, the expiration dates are the same as any other leftovers, you sicko. After 5 days you’d best throw it out or give it a Viking funeral or something. Your call.
Good luck. You’re gonna need it.