Drama-Free Turkey: Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving

The holidays are a time for togetherness, love and respect. Well, sometimes. While reuniting with friends and family can be a wonderful experience, particularly around this time of the year, it can also be ridiculously stressful and tension-filled. Lots of personalities crammed into one room with a whole lot of food and booze is a recipe for some Turkey Day drama. But thankfully SoulTrain.com has a few tips that will help you make it through the holidays in one piece…or close to it!

Acknowledge any potential problems 

Look, not everyone is going to get along. That’s a given. But it’s important to acknowledge any tension that might arise from big personalities being forced together for a few hours. Just because you hope that people get along, doesn’t mean they will. So make sure to inform any feuding parties that the other will be in attendance and assure them that all efforts will be taken to make sure that Thanksgiving goes off without a hitch. Also, do your best to craft sensible seating arrangements. Aunt Jackie and ex-husband Joe don’t need to be seated together if ex-husband Joe brings along his new young, hot boopiece.

Be careful with the booze

The holidays without booze would be like a concert with no music, but keep the drankin’ to a reasonable level if possible. Stick to wine and keep the hard stuff for New Year’s Eve. Loose lips sink ships, and after a few shots the insults will start flying like nobody’s business. So cut that off at the pass. Another good idea: Keep the pre-gaming to a minimum. Empty stomachs and excessive alcohol consumption don’t make for a good combination on a number of fronts. Serving your guests a glass of wine works, but make sure the grub is soon to follow.

Music is the perfect buffer

So you’re sitting at the dinner table, the bird is cut up and your guests are ready to get their eat on. Now comes the conversation. While, obviously, you want your guests to talk to one another, you want to make sure that the conversations steer far, far, far away from controversial or sensitive topics. Though you can’t control everything that comes flying out of your guests’ mouths, you can employ a few tricks to make sure that the conversation remains civil to an extent. We’re big proponents of a Thanksgiving playlist that is on point. Make sure you’re spinning tunes that, in and of themselves, will be conversation starters. That will help to diffuse some of the tension and hopefully sway the conversation to more light-hearted topics.

If all else fails, put things in perspective

It’s one day. Be it a rather uncomfortable one, be it a little tension-heavy, it’s still one day. Just 24 hours and even less when you think about how long people will actually be in your home. And regardless of any issues that may arise, it’s still a great opportunity to catch up with the people you love the most during a wonderful time of the year.

–Amanda Younger

Amanda Younger is a freelance writer and web producer based in New York City. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Time Out New York, SI.com, YourTango and FHM.com. Follow her on Twitter @ayounger45.

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