Anger from the movie Inside Out
Anger from the movie Inside Out

While we wish you the best Thanksgiving ever, it’s entirely possible seeing your family and friends, great food, and relaxing may not entirely make up for the Thanksgiving Disasters just waiting for you. 

Thanksgiving Disaster #1 – Explosive Conversation

You knew it was going to happen. A mild discussion turns into a squabble, then a disagreement and finally a total explosion.

No, this is not political banter, a debate or a tweet, but it could be triggered by that. It’s the conversation around the family Thanksgiving table.

Maybe your dad read some new information and came spoiling for a verbal joust. Or that beloved, but all too loud uncle just wanted his voice heard. After a glass or two of wine, almost anything can happen at these family gatherings.

What to Do, What to Do

Tip 1: Unless your First Amendment class has you fully prepared to voice your opinions, just remain quiet. Look at your plate. Look at your shoes. Try not to smile or, heaven forbid, laugh. In short, be invisible. This storm will blow over.

Tip 2: If you can, find a reason to leave the table. Offer to help in the kitchen. Clean away some dirty plates and glasses. Pour some tea or water for your family. Go out and get some air.

Tip 3: NEVER step in between the conversational combatants, unless you want to get bit or you’re feeling particularly malicious. Just for fun step in the middle, drop a particularly outrageous bomb comment, smile and walk away. Always entertaining.

Thanksgiving Disaster #2 – Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Ah, Thanksgiving foods. So good to eat and so very bad when you eat too much.

Tip 1: Pace yourself, you probably have all day. Don’t fill up on salad or bread. Wait for the good stuff. Turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes, almond green beans, casseroles, gravy. Yum!

Tip 2: Approach eating like you do a final exam, jump to the most valuable items first. If you love turkey and dressing, load up on that first. Then gravy. Then move on to more side dishes and finally to bread (Tips from an eating expert).

Tip 3: Sometimes what looks good and smells while you taste her prized tofurkey. You could 1) spit it out and exclaim “crap, that’s awful!,” or 2) force it down and try to keep a semblance of a smile on your face. Now, what to with the rest of the tofurkey left on your plate. Find a dog, or see “What to Do, What to Do” Tip 3 for another option. Bad tasting Thanksgiving disasters yuck!

Thanksgiving Disaster #3 – Proper Attire

stretchy pants


Fashion-be-damned. It’s family, they should understand that comfy is a better choice than chic.

Wear stretchy pants, comfort is a must. Put on a dark, flowy shirt to hide what the stretchy pants are holding in and camouflage any food stains (like when grandma spilled on you last year).

It’s common knowledge that turkey gravy swells your feet. Keep your shoes or brace for another Thanksgiving disasters

Thanksgiving Disaster #4 – What to watch on TV

If snacking around the TV is your family’s thing, you have lots of shows to consider.

No proper Thanksgiving would be complete without watching Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving Special, which airs on Thanksgiving eve.

Thanksgiving morning offers The 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Balloons, floats, marching bands, balloons, the Rockettes, some Broadway numbers, balloons, more floats and more balloons. The weather can make this parade interesting in oh so many different ways.

During Thanksgiving Day, it’s sports. Namely football:

  • Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (12:30 p.m., Fox)
  • Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (4:30 p.m., NBC)
  • Ole Miss at Mississippi State (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
  • New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (8:15 p.m., NBC)

Avoid the sports and watch anything on The Hallmark Channel, Yea, it’s sappy. It’s predictable romance. It’s way too perky and cheesy. But we love it.

With all of the new streaming options like Apple TV+ and Disney+ you have a world of new shows and family favorites.

On Thanksgiving night tune into The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration.

Thanksgiving Disaster #5 – Brainstorm Small Talk

While traveling to your Thanksgiving destination, brainstorm conversation topics. Think of it as a networking conversation starter practice. If you can interest or divert your family with brilliant conversation, then that hiring manager will be a piece of cake.

Happy Thanksgiving

No matter how your Thanksgiving turns out, be safe and happy and joyful about all the things for which we are thankful. Come back to campus ready to finish the semester strong.