You Love ‘Em Right?

5 Tips to Survive Your Relatives During Thanksgiving

Graphic via Canva/Serene Tarabishi

Are you mentally prepared for another hours-long family Thanksgiving dinner with your favorite relatives? The endless questions and small talk – we have all been there. If not, here are 5 tips to help you not just survive, but to thrive.

   Are you mentally prepared for another hours-long family Thanksgiving dinner? If not, here are five tips to help you not just survive, but to thrive:

  1. Plan out deflection tactics ahead of time

   Immediately bombarded by the “How is school? Do you like your classes?” from your favorite relatives? Instead of responding with a lame-o response of “Good,” a couple of well-planned questions to them instead can divert the attention away from yourself. Try asking, “tell me about Thanksgiving when you were a child.” Giving your great-aunt something to talk about, preferably a long-answer response that involves a story about themselves, takes the attention off of you for a long time.


  1. Tune them out selectively

   Ah, this is my dad’s personal advice. Respect everyone’s opinions, but do not take them too seriously. Avoid politics and any other controversial, possibly heated discussions.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch what you said about the President…but I’d love to hear about your new pilates class!”


  1. Sit by your favorite family member

   Offer to set out a name card on the table for each guest. This gives you the convenient opportunity to seat yourself next to your favorite, equally-snarky-as-you relative. Fun, constant side commentary is now always within reach!


  1. Overload on carbs and sugar

   Load up your plate with those mashed potatoes, buttery rolls, jello, and pie. Launch yourself into a semi-conscious state of slap-happiness to take the edge off. You might find the small talk with that long-lost uncle much less tedious. Kayla Busby, 11, said, “We always have the best food because my mom’s family are all amazing cooks. I just stay by the food or my little cousins and away from all the people.” Trust me, you’ll feel much more relaxed. 

Pro Tip: Wear pants with an elastic waistband to ensure comfortable consumption of endless amounts of dessert.


  1. Have an exit strategy

   Those dishes won’t clean themselves! This is the perfect chance to use your parents’ favorite quote against them! By offering to wash the dishes, you will win over all your relatives and you can escape to the kitchen away from your grandma’s suffocating hugs. 


   So, even after you read these tips with an evil, gleeful smile on your face, you know that somewhere, very deep down, you love your dysfunctional family and that regardless, Thanksgiving will prove to be a unique experience unlike anything else.