Yessss… Thanksgiving dinner is finally here. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes. The Parade, Sports and family and friends for one glorious day. Thanksgiving is that magical time of the year when families gather together to break bread. It’s a day to forget about deadlines, breakups, and work troubles. It’s a day to just focus on quality time with near and dear ones. Hmmmm…I lie.
Any blue-blooded American knows that more often than not, the Thanksgiving dinner table can turn into a veritable minefield. The mood is that of unforgivable danger, heartbreak, sadness and copious amounts of alcohol. Families and friends who haven’t seen one another for a year gather around a delicious spread. They wait with bated breath for the wrong thing to be said by the wrong person and a very, very wrong time.
It’s at times like these, you have got to ask why for just one day, can‘t we give it a rest? While many of us have perfected the art of biting our proverbial tongues at our mother-in-laws snide comments; it sometimes gets hard to hold back. However, if you want to remain in the good graces of your families, history has proven time and again that the best thing to do this Thanksgiving; is to eat, drink and be merry!
Do not live in fear, here is a list of 10 conversation topics that are off the Thanksgiving table and should be avoided at all costs.
- Political Views – Just like the Civil War, Politics divides families. Maybe Uncle Ted feels anger about Hillary Clinton’s Emails or Second Cousin Bob has given up bathing unless the troops withdraw from Iraq; leave that and other touchy topics — such as immigration, abortion, war, and taxes — far away from your Thanksgiving dinner table.
- Religion– It could so happen that you can discuss religion with your own family and have a really productive and informative discussion. NOT! Thanksgiving is one of those rare holidays that is not about religion. Steer clear of such a sensitive topic unless you want to suffer the wrath of Grandma Susan who has just returned from her trip to the Vatican!
- Money – Okay, so you have a banker uncle or brother who works on Wall Street and they are sitting beside you at Thanksgiving dinner. Feel free to seek advice and use their knowledge when it comes to your own finances. In any other scenario, be wary of starting any kind of money talk or you will get unwarranted advice on what you should be doing with your money, or rather, what you shouldn’t be doing. Talking cash is a dangerous topic, especially at a family gathering.
- The Food – Did you spend 48 hours prepping the food and cooking up the lavish Thanksgiving dinner spread?Didn’t think so. Therefore, keep your highly valued thoughts of the gravy needing more salt to yourself. No one likes a know-it-all gourmet. So if you find yourself looking at the Turkey and it looks dry, take a sip of your wine and keep your mouth shut.
- Family Scandals – Do not bring up, under any circumstances, painful family subjects at the Thanksgiving dinner table. No one likes to remember Aunt Marie shaving her head and joining the monastery in Tibet; or why Uncle Jo left his wife and married the nanny. Save it for another day.
- How much better Christmas is – Yes, yes, we all know that Christmas is just a better Thanksgiving cause it comes with presents. Don’t keep saying it and ruin the day.
- Bitter, old wounds – We all have that one person with whom we have had a bitter past. At Thanksgiving, you are bound to find at least one or two relatives with whom you have a less than wonderful history with. It’s OK. Don’t feel like now is the time to work it out – because it isn’t. Nothing ruins a good holiday like bringing out dirty laundry. Do not re-hash the past.
- How much someone else is eating – If you look up and Grandpa John has gravy all over his face and a chunk of turkey between his teeth just look away. Judge once you’re out of the house.
- Kids (Yours or Others’) – Admit it, no one is impressed by your 3 year-old son’s nonstop chatter with a full mouth of food. Neither is it attractive to see your niece whining over eating her brussel sprouts. However, it is not OK to give parents grief over all the parenting mistakes they are making in raising their children. Kids will be kids.
- Failed Expectations – You could’ve gone to Harvard if you had just applied yourself. Your brother wasted his talents as a scientist. We all disappoint our parents one way or another. If they start bringing it up, just volunteer to do the dishes.
Nobody wants to quarrel on a holiday, but some family feuds are inevitable. If you want to avoid an seismic blowup, steer clear of controversial or distasteful topics. Just chow down on the food and give thanks that you survived another great Thanksgiving holiday.Visit www.eriklitmanovich.com for more Thanksgiving dinner updates.