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How to avoid conflict on Thanksgiving

SAT. | 11-20-21 | OPINION

     Although we all love the idea of celebrating what we are thankful for and getting a break from school, Thanksgiving (and particularly dinner conversations) can be something to dread. Relatives are all up in your business and would like to know every detail about your life. We know—not always a fun time. Good thing your editors-in-chief are here to help you avoid and get out of these situations (and more) that are as sticky as the gravy you will be eating.

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Graphic by William Becker

     Scenario one: an argument breaks out at the dinner table. This solution works for arguments about any topic. If this is to happen, you will be presented with two solutions: slip away or become the center of attention. Slipping away is very self explanatory. Pretend to drop your fork and army crawl out of the room. Now, becoming the center of attention is a little tricky. I (Emma) personally have lots of experience with being the center of attention, so I would personally choose this option. You must do something that the arguer deems more important than proving their point. I would personally breakdance. It is the perfect way to make everyone stop the argument, get a little confused, and then laugh. However, if you have a fragile ego, I would not recommend this option. Bam! You just saved Thanksgiving dinner, or at least for yourself.

     Scenario two: the dog eats dinner. All of it, gone. This happens to my (Emma) family's dinner all the time. Is it me? Is it the dog? No one knows. You are now faced with two problems: you have no food and your dog is probably about to get rid of that food in the worst way possible. Now I love my dog, but the first place you have to take them is outside. If you do not have a backyard I would put them in a room with absolutely not a hair of carpet. Turn yourself into Mr. Clean and prepare. Get someone else to order food in the meantime. The only thing that is important is your dog.

     Scenario three: The turkey is overcooked. We know, it may seem like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to be! Option one: you and your family can go on an emergency excursion to the grocery store, pick up a new turkey, and try again together. Option two: pick your favorite restaurant and go out to eat as a family. Even if preparing the turkey does not have a favorable outcome, there are always alternatives that don’t require stress, tears, or accusations of culinary sabotage.

     Scenario four: your little cousins come for Thanksgiving, and they’re a handful. In this serious situation, you have several options. First, you can accept that your time with them might be a little chaotic and just have fun with them. I (William) prefer this route, because younger cousins can actually be very fun to spend time with as long as they aren’t attempting to eat metal or start a fire. However, if the situation is dire enough and option one isn’t a possibility, in comes option two: hide. I (William) can confirm that on at least one occasion, my sister and I have hidden from our younger cousins while on a holiday with them because the situation was getting out of control. They will probably try to reach under the door or look through any windows, so be sure to stay quiet and out of sight. It’s understandable to need a break every once in a while; young kids can be a handful. However, don’t forget to still spend time with them when you can, because that will be very important as you get older.

     With that, we conclude our advice. Hopefully you learned a bit about how to navigate the highs and lows of a family Thanksgiving and now have some ideas as to how you can deal with the various uncomfortable situations you may encounter. On that note, good luck! Emma and William out.

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