Ahhh… Thanksgiving. A holiday where you get to see extended family that you may not get to see often, sit and eat dry turkey, and hope that the meal doesn’t turn into one of your favorite sitcom show scenes. Or maybe that is what you are looking for. Media Personality Kevin Clancy recently described Thanksgiving dinner as “a bunch of old people talking over each other, while you sit there thinking ‘How much longer are these people going to be alive?’” on a recent Barstool Sports segment. Grab your sweet potatoes, and stay away from these topics at the Thanksgiving dinner table to avoid someone getting a bottle of Martinelli’s smashed over his or her head.
10) Unsolicited advice. Whether it is workout tips nobody asked for or facts about your new food cleanse, just stay away from it. If you feel the need to give unsolicited advice, be ready for the rest of the table to turn it around and criticize your every move. Better to keep your ideas of how your aunt could lose weight to yourself.
9) Complaints about the food. If the turkey is dry or the pie is burnt, everyone probably knows it. The difference is, if you bring it up, you’re the jerk. Wash down a couple bites with plenty of apple cider and ask for the sweet potatoes to be passed your way. Mush the rest of it around on your plate like you did when you were younger with the green bean casserole. Or was that just me?
8) Opinions on lockdown vs opening up amid COVID-19. The first Thanksgiving amid the COVID-19 pandemic might bring up differing opinions on the lockdown versus opening up debate. There are plenty of reasons that support both sides of the argument, and it might be tough to see the other side of the coin if you are heavy on one side or the other. Stick to the latest COVID-19 numbers in your area, or the small talk about how you wish things went back to “normal.”
7) The history of Thanksgiving vs Indigenous’ People’s Day. Now this one is definitely a hot topic. No matter what you or your family members’ opinion on the discussion is, it sets up for a painstakingly long lecture about the state of the world today or a generational debate. We can only stand so many “Back in my day” lectures from their elders before we start seriously considering slamming our heads into the table.
6) People’s eating habits. Thanksgiving is a day of excess food and general gluttony. If someone fills up their plate a little full, or takes an extra piece of pie, maybe let it be today? There is nothing like criticising a family member or someone you have grown up with, to start an argument and bring old drama to the forefront. You probably wouldn’t want people criticising your eating habits, so let your siblings have that cheat day or let them eat their third servings of mashed potatoes. It’s Thanksgiving; drink some more sparkling apple cider yourself, and let your worries fade away.
5) Anything gross. Come on people, others are trying to eat a nice dinner. We don’t need a play by play of what part of the turkey we are eating, or what the canned cranberries are actually made of. If you see or hear of something gross somewhere do not bring it up at the dinner table. Let people enjoy their food without making them lose their appetites. People were just trying to enjoy their pumpkin pie, and then your uncle ruined everything by telling everyone about his recent colonoscopy.
4) Religion/ Current religious issues. Whether you are debating the latest question on the religious issues list — God, evolution, abortion, or many others topics — or your cousin is spouting off about this new religion he just joined, it is best to leave the religious debate at the door when you walk in for Thanksgiving dinner. In today’s climate, where someone can be deeply affected by anything that is said in a religious conversation, it is best to not bring it up. Stick to whether or not the Dallas Cowboys will win today.
3) Old family gossip or drama. Remember that dumb thing someone said about someone else at the table, or that thing your brother did a couple years ago that still isn’t funny? Yeah, it is safe to say that you shouldn’t bring that up. Leave the stories that start off with, “Late at night” or “He thought it would be cool” buried for another day. Wait to tell them when they become legendary stories that you will start with, “Back in my day…” (but not in the eye-roll way).
2) Politics/ Who you voted for/ who won the election. The holy grail, especially in an election year. Whether you filled the scantron bubble for Trump, Biden, Kanye, or if you wrote in “Abraham Lincoln,” best to swallow the politics topic with your green beans and mashed potatoes. Both Fox and CNN should probably stay off, just like soggy creamed spinach should never be on a Thanksgiving table. Local news or BBC only please.
1) The fact you are awaiting the results of your COVID-19 test. There may be no quicker way to divide a group of people, especially your family. There will be the group that is supportive and the group that might freak out, and head immediately for the door. It can be understood if they don’t want you touching the corn bread after this. The family scandal and drama this would create would make it a Thanksgiving nobody would forget. Maybe you should have stayed home.