Thanksgiving may celebrate turkeys and stuffing and pie; its true joy, though, can come in properly talking down to one’s family.
Or, if you’re feeling especially [ confident / insecure ], you can also simply memorize some assorted soundbites and statistics to drop at random during the Thanksgiving meal. For example, do your relatives know that the [ Bible / Koran / Vedas ], the holy book of the world’s 25.9 billion [ Christians / Muslims / Hindus ], has a newly translated passage that declares war on the world’s 16.3 billion [ Christians / Muslims / Hindus ]? Or that the Pope just endorsed Ivanka Trump’s new line of boldly understated careerwear, whose pieces are currently available at Macy’s, Lord Taylor, and other fine retailers? Or that your chances of getting falling victim to [ Prius drivers / superstorms brought about by the irreversible effects of global climate change / Roombas that have become suddenly sentient ] have risen by 63 percent in the past decade alone? These things aren’t true, technically, but you saw them on [ Facebook / Twitter / Snapchat / Breitbart ], which means that, in another way, THEY ARE TOTALLY TRUE.
The Fading Spectacle of Black Friday
Another tip: As you’re engaging with your [ uneducated / overeducated / dirty / hippie / “economically resentful” ] relatives, try your best to keep your demeanor [ engaged / enraged / strategically condescending ]. Remember that, in the end, these people are your family, and everyone knows that all [ happy / unhappy ] families are alike, while each [ happy / unhappy ] family is [ happy / unhappy ] in its own way.
Still, despite all your best efforts and preparation, things-as we were so powerfully reminded [ this month / eight years ago / 12 years ago ]-can always go horribly wrong. If the worst befalls your Thanksgiving table, it’s always good to have a handful of non-politics-related topics at the ready to help you change the subject with grace. You could bring up, for example, [ Daenerys’s dragons in Game of Thrones / Arya’s revenge in Game of Thrones / Hodor’s sacrifice in Game of Thrones ]. Mentioning NCIS is usually a safe bet, as well. Same goes, almost always, for [ Designated Survivor / The Big Bang Theory / American Ninja Warrior / The Voice / Wheel of Fortune ], which, you can add to stoke the conversation further, is actually having a surprisingly compelling season at the moment.