In honor of my second-favorite holiday (the first being Christmas), I give you helpful advice for being with family and/or friends on Thanksgiving, and making the day as enjoyable as possible.
1. Remember the History
I know that the history of the Pilgrims and the Indians is not as sugar-coated as we learned in elementary school...but still, I love the sentiment behind Thanksgiving--giving thanks for the good, and taking time to think of peace and loving thy neighbor.
The fact that it's evolved into a four-day weekend doesn't hurt, either.
2. It's Not About How Fancy the Table Is...
...but how dear the people around it are. Sure, Aunt Rita drives you nutsm or you have your very own pervy Uncle Geoffrey (a la Bridget Jones). Cousin Fred has been trying to get you in on some "fool-proof" business proposition and must be avoided at all costs. Your siblings bailed to have dinner with the in-laws in Winnemucca, and it's falling on you to keep the peace.
Yes, family can be awkward. But it's only one day, and, if you're having a really hard time staying sane, repeat the following in your head: "Mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie. Gravy. Mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie. Gravy."
(I'm lucky--it's just Mom, Dad, Millie, Bella and Duchess and I for Thanksgiving, and we are more than satisfied with that.)
3. Football Isn't the Only Diversion
My entertainment of choice is the Macy's Parade. I get a big kick out of those big balloons, and all the lip-synching goodness. Who doesn't smile at the huge Snoopy balloon, or the Sesame Street float?
The Grinch, that's who.
4. Don't Overdo
Leftovers are really, really good, but remember, as we're only a few weeks from Christmas, the calories will be piling up from every corner. Why not simplify the size of your Thanksgiving meal and not have two months worth of mashed potatoes in the fridge after?
5. Say Grace--But Keep It Simple
You don't need to thank God for every last blessing in your life individually. There just isn't enough time, and stomachs are growling. Keep it simple, heartfelt, and best of all, concise!
If you're not the one saying grace, be quiet, respectful, and don't sneak bites of turkey in when no one is looking. That's cheating!
6. Compliment the Chef
Even if you're not crazy about Auntie Ethel's Famous Strawberry Jello Mold with Pretzels and Cheez Whiz, don't be rude! Take a tiny spoonful, push it under some mashed potatoes when no one is looking, and proclaim how stuffed you are whe she offers you some more.
7. Have Fun!
8. Make a Wish!
9. Don't Forget To Have A...