Americans, in two days, we’re about to do what we do best: eat copious amounts of food. Last year, I wrote a list to raise awareness to the abuse and neglect Thanksgiving has endured over the years, but this year, I wanted to address how to handle the holiday respectfully and responsibly.
So here it is, 2016’s Thanksgiving list, the Thanksgiving Day Game Plan:
- Get out of bed and do some hip circles (this is basically just moving your hips in such a way that it looks like you’re hula-hooping in slow motion). You’ll want to engage your core immediately after waking to get it warmed up for battle later.
- Go ahead and get showered, dressed and ready for the day. Your outfit should consist of a cable-knit sweater and loose-fitting jeans. A cable-knit sweater because what better to get you in the autumny, cozy, traditional mood? And loose-fitting jeans because…obviously.
- This item may differ from person to person and family to family, depending on your age, gender and social norms within your family. If you’re a mom or a teenage/adult female, find an apron, preferably one with reds, oranges, dark greens and other earth tones. Don that apron. This will be the only time you’ve ever worn an apron, but act like you know how to tie it without assistance. Tying your apron is the symbol of power and control of the food. If you’re a dad or teenage/adult male, sit on the couch within earshot of the females. Sit comfortably, but with your heels on the floor, ready to rise when the females holler for you to perform a task (such tasks could include heating a bowl of vegetables in the microwave, putting ice in glasses, setting the table, etc.). Just remember that answering the door automatically falls to you. Don’t let the family down on this one. They’re all counting on you. Maybe spend the morning stretching your wrist for all the door-opening you’ll be doing. If you’re a kid, male of female, you have a very important job: asking when it’s time to eat and stating you’re hungry. Both these statements should be made at alternating 93-second intervals.
- Set the table according to food temperature within 15 minutes of whatever’s in the oven being done. A good place to start would be the rolls (properly covered with a napkin
to keep them warm and discourage fliesfor looks). Cranberry sauce and deviled eggs can follow, then other side dishes. Always save space on the table for the grand finale, which can be one thing or multiple things (think turkey, biscuits, dressing, sweet potato casserole or whatever weird vegan hipster dish your family digs).
- After the prayer – even if you haven’t prayed before a meal in roughly 335 days – pretend like you don’t want to snatch the spoon from the mashed potatoes and eat straight out of the bowl. Instead, glob some onto your plate and pass the bowl. Clockwise, counter clockwise, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t mess up the direction, someone else will.
- Say a silent prayer of thanks for jeans that have a little give to them.
- Refrain or steer passionate family members away from topics relating to politics, current events or why that one cousin (or you) is still single. Stick to the safe topics of deceased family members, grandparents’ acquaintances’ ailments and, if you’re in between bites and not wanting a long conversation, how younger family members are doing in school/college.
- Go ahead and eat a little bit more.
- Try to avoid eating to the point of sickness, otherwise you will fail in your aspirations for dessert(s).
- Again, depending on your family, males, retire to the living room to sit in typical male silence; females, transform into a flurry of take-home paper plates, Reynolds Wrap and soap suds; kids, make it your mission to crowd the males out of their perches with sleepy, dead weight bodies.
Stick to this list, and your family Thanksgiving will be just as hectic, tense and oddly satisfying as everyone else’s.