15 Ways To Prepare To Face Your Relatives At Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food; it’s also about seeing family. Sometimes that’s good, but sometimes it involves spending time with people you’ve only spoken to three times throughout your life, in addition to the typical assortment of overly critical aunts, drunken uncles, confused grandparents and even more confused great-grandparents. If the thought of a family Thanksgiving is getting you down, try these 15 ways to prepare yourself.

1. Embrace The Terror And Dread

There will be a whole house full of people related to you. You’ll have to sit at a table and talk to them; you’ll be trapped. Trapped! You can’t use school as an excuse, because no one has classes on Thanksgiving, and you can’t use work as an excuse, because unless you’re a cop or an ER doctor, no one has to work on Thanksgiving. You’re stuck. If you have a significant other, you’re also going to have to face a whole house full of people related to them, which is at least marginally better than talking to your own relatives.

2. Avoidance

Banish all worries to the back of your mind and don’t think about them again until the morning of Thanksgiving, when you’ll finally have to face up to the reality that the holiday season is really here. Again.

3. Make An Escape Plan

If you go into Thanksgiving without a specific time for departure and an ironclad excuse for leaving, you might as well give up now, because you’re never getting out of there.

4. Scream Until You Feel Better

Primal scream therapy is a great way to let out all the stress and forget for just a few minutes that you’re going to have to spend time with relatives who will most likely ask you the same questions and offer the same opinions about your career, academics, love life, choice of haircut, weight, choice of shoes, eating habits, friends and people you haven’t seen since high school.

5. Commiserate With Friends, Roommates, Boyfriends, Girlfriends And Random Strangers

Remember that you’re not the only one who might be dreading facing the relatives. Complain to everyone who will listen (and even those who don’t want to listen), then offer them a sympathetic ear when they need to rant about all the inconveniences of going home for the holidays — you might end up being able to laugh about it all. For a few minutes, at least.

6. Prepare A Detailed Description Of Your Job…

… which everyone will instantly forget as soon as the words leave your mouth. Eventually, when your great-aunt asks you what it is you do again, you’ll just shake your head and pretend you’re going to sneeze and/or choke on something.

7. Practice Your Fake Smile


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Stare into the mirror like a psychopath while you repeat phrases like, “It’s so great to see you!” and “Oh, I’m sure you don’t want to hear about my job!”

8. Practice Your Fake Laugh

You want to sound interested and enthusiastic, but not so interested and enthusiastic that you’ll have to participate in conversations.

9. Make Flashcards

If the conversation is really dragging, use some old-fashioned conversation starters! If it doesn’t get a new conversation going, it will at least make everyone very confused, and maybe they’ll stop asking you questions.

10. Do Vocal Exercises

Most people have a significant number of older relatives who are losing their hearing. If you’re one of these people, make sure you do enough warm-ups so you don’t strain your vocal cords while shouting small talk across the table.

11. Pretend You Got A Cat Or Dog

If you’re still worried about leaving even when you have an escape plan, a backup escape plan and a fake emergency plan, tell everyone that you got a pet and it pees in your bed when it’s left alone for more than three hours.

12. Pretend You’re A Spy

Jump nervously at every small noise while talking about complex international affairs and then saying “… not that I’d know anything about that” after every sentence. Wear a black turtleneck and bring a suspicious-looking bag that occasionally emits beeping noises. When you feel like leaving, answer your phone even if didn’t ring, then sprint out of the room silently yet purposefully.

13. Bring Someone With You

Whether it’s your significant other or a friend who doesn’t have any family in town anymore, it’s always easier to face Thanksgiving when you have someone with you for moral support.

14. Emergency Booze

You know you’re going to need it.

15. Leave Your Body

Starting learning astral projection so your spirit can go anywhere in the world while your semi-lifeless body remains sitting at the table, shoveling food in its mouth and saying, “It’s so nice to see you!” to anyone that approaches it.