Six tips for a happy Thanksgiving

Six tips for a happy Thanksgiving

If you want to survive it with a smile on your face, you're going to want to play by the rules.

On paper, Thanksgiving is a fabulous family holiday filled with gratitude and the sharing of a bountiful feast. In reality, the picture of the decadent meal served on fine china to a well-dressed and dimpled crowd of thankful, smiling faces gives way to a pack of hungry football fans hoping to get back to the game before another round of “You know what's wrong with this _____?” (fill in the blank with “country,” “family,” “turkey” or something of your own) begins.

  1. Let someone else cook. When Aunt Agnes asks who will be hosting Thanksgiving this year, look down at your feet until some other sucker makes eye contact with her. It's a rookie mistake that will ensure the hassle, mess and bulk of the financial obligation will fall on his or her shoulders.

  2. Choose pants with elastic waistbands and never wear white. You will overeat, and during the savage consumption of your three plates of turkey and gravy, the cleanliness of your clothes will be sacrificed along with your status as a civilized human being.

  3. Don't talk about anything remotely controversial. Anything from politics to whether or not you liked The Culture Club in 1984 is off limits. Don't go there. It won't end well.

  4. Avoid alcohol. Not only will it lead to a fight or embarrassing two-hour episode of “No, I love YOU, man,” but it will fill you up quickly and you won't have any room for your cousin Ellen's famous strawberry rhubarb key lime surprise. It's an all around party foul.

  5. Don't get fancy with your dish to pass. If you get some crazy idea to try one of the 8473 recipes you found on Pinterest...stifle it. The fancier you try to be, the more things go wrong and better your chances are of having to find a store open on Thanksgiving Day.

  6. Be thankful in blanket statements. Don't try to be specific about why you're thankful for each person in your family. Inevitably, you will say something that will offend someone and you'll forget to be thankful for your wife. Or your mother. Or your Mother-in-law. Or all three. Say you're thankful for your family and live to see another Thanksgiving.