This is it: the meal you've dreamed about since you stuffed yourself silly a year ago. The holiday where calories don't count and you can eat yourself into a coma so deep you'll want to pull the plug on yourself.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving comes with a catch: a heated political argument almost always seems to make its way to the sacred table.
Whether or not you believe it, you hold the power to curve those nonsensical arguments and change them into something your family will never forget.
Here are three practical ways to put out the flame before it turns into a forest fire.
1. Ask someone to pass a dish that doesn't exist.
As soon as you hear the first political remark that makes everyone clench their silverware, go ahead and loudly ask someone to “PASS THE SCRAMBLED EGGS.”
This abrupt change of subject will immediately stop people in their tracks and get them wondering why the hell your family would serve eggs on Thanksgiving in the first place. This could potentially start a great discussion on why you believe eggs should be included in every meal, or why you're certain the egg came before the turkey.
PRO TIP: Pick a food that you'd actually like to see on next year's Thanksgiving table. This will provide you with a strong platform to start a non-political debate about side dishes.
2. Pretend to choke on your food.
This one takes some acting prowess, but with a bit of practice, anyone can pull it off.
These are the steps I recommend:
- As soon as you notice a political argument brewing, take a bite of turkey and store it in the side of your mouth by the bottom row of your teeth.
- After the turkey is safely secured, and your mouth is closed, stop blinking and stare at something off in the distance. (If your family is already arguing about politics, it may take a while for them to notice you.)
- Keep staring and hold your breath to induce a shade of purple on your face.
- Once you have the attention of at least three family members, stand up, grab your throat, and flail violently around the room like a maniac. Don't hold back in this stage. If there's a Christmas tree up, aim to knock that bad boy down. At a minimum you'll want to break a lamp or knock down a family portrait (the latter could serve as a timely symbolic message).
- Gauge your audience. If the political argument hasn't completely ceased, and no one's trying to call an ambulance, keep going. If your family already looks traumatized, go ahead and cough one more time, then spit out that turkey bite from step one as far as possible. Bonus points for hitting the person who started the argument.
3. Announce your 2020 candidacy for POTUS.
This tactic is only to be used in situations where the political discussion has already gotten out of control. Perhaps you excused yourself to use the restroom only to return to your Uncle Herb standing on his chair shouting the 2nd Amendment repeatedly. Or worse, you've found yourself contributing to a heated debate on tax reform because you've been studying for your Macroeconomics final and feel like an expert on the subject. It happens.
Either way, at this point you need to pull out the Hail Mary of diversions and announce your bid to be the next leader of the United States of America.
The key to making this work is to come off as serious as possible. Your family will automatically think you're just being stupid–a fair assumption. Hold your ground, but be prepared for hurtful comments on why you're probably the single most unfit person to hold office. Don't let your family's opinions get to you though–a politician needs to be able to stand up to the harshest of criticism.
PRO TIP: Grab a turkey leg and point it at people as you debate them on the legitimacy of your candidacy.
Keep politics at bay this year and help make Thanksgiving great again!