Thanksgiving is a time for delicious food, love and family. Most younger people are faced with question after question. “Where are you going to college?” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Did you hear what your cousin did!?” “What are you wearing?” “Are you really going to eat all that?” And the worst of them all “So what do you think of the election?” Most of us have been harassed by at least one family member with good intentions gone wrong. Thursday’s dinner table has the potential to be more heated than the oven. Though avoidance isn’t always the best option, Thanksgiving is a time for holding hands, not chucking plates.
There are ways to get around uncomfortable conversations with your relatives and friends. The first step is to stay calm. Yes there is a possibility that an older relative can make a racist remark or an uncle screaming about politics, but our job is not to escalate the situation. The worst thing we can do is yell back. Instead stay calm, don’t throw mashed potatoes across the table, use it as a segway for calm conversation if possible. If you know there’s no way of making others see your side, change the topic. Talk about the latest football game or the newest movie that everyone loves. If you know there are people joining you for dinner who don’t agree with your views but are willing to listen, do your research before Thursday night. Back up your stance and they can’t look past you.
If you’re stressing about college and family members are pressing you, just simply tell them you’re on it and you don’t want to talk about it tonight. Remind those around you why you’re there in the first place. Not to fight or stress. But to give thanks for having each other and the good things in your lives. And when in doubt, you can always sneak off to the kitchen or the bathroom to cool off. There’s nothing wrong with removing yourself from a stressful situation to calm down. There are times where adults have one too many glasses of wine, so we have to be mature and know not to listen to them and to pour out their cups before dessert.
Thanksgiving is stressful for many. The pressure of cooking on a time limit and hoping to make everything delicious can turn any cook crazy. Offer to help those in the kitchen out, but maybe earlier in the day if you can. But also know when to take a step back and keep the toddlers occupied. Thursday can be a frustrating day but as long as we’re not running around like a headless turkey, it can turn into a very memorable time.
The biggest thing to remember is why you’re all together. To give thanks and to enjoy each other’s company. So take a breath and when you want to scream, take a bite of stuffing instead.