Next week is Thanksgiving. Time for the annual Thanksgiving meal with family. Thanksgiving dinner is more than just food. It is more than turkey and dressing, ham and mash potatoes. It is more than candied yams and cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving is about family, friends and conversation.
When the holidays come we are often reminded of the diversity of our families. Sitting at the table are Republicans and Democrats, Christians and Non-Christians, Introverts and Extroverts. There are alot of different personalities gathered around the table: good and bad. It is the reality of family. As I have always said, “You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family.”
So in light of all these things I have developed some ground rules for a successful holiday dinner. There are Good Topics and Topics to be avoided at all costs. (Warning: Some of these discussions are tongue in cheek:) )
Good Topics (Neutrality is always grand):
1. Black Friday shopping. While waiting for dinner, break out the ads and discuss what you will buy the day after Thanksgiving. Create a competition between the different family members to see who can go into the most debt before Christmas.
2. Football -Whether it is College Football or Pro, makes little difference. We should just be thankful that God created football. Eat and then sit around and watch the game. If you want to make peace with the family, always make sure you root against the Dallas Cowboys (right Judy?).
3. Food – A good subject while eating is what we will eat for the next meal. I have always found it relaxing, while eating Turkey and dressing, to discuss another type of food; such as Mexican. As Americans it is our right to be thinking about the next meal.
4. Exercise – Discuss your weight loss plan and compare notes with the others. It is a good time to learn what works and what doesn’t work. It is also a good time to evaluate the plans that do work. If someone suggests a good diet or exercise program but they have gained weight since last Thanksgiving, simply smile and agree, but find someone else’s plan.
Topics Not To Discuss (Mood Killers)
1. Politics – We are only weeks after the election, there are some at the table who would love to gloat. Others who are still depressed. It is not the occasion to bring up your political persuasion. This is the quickest way for the dinner to end in a family feud. If you are Republican and would like to get one over on the family, quietly get up from the table, non-chalantly switch the channel from ESPN to Fox News and be re-seated. If you are a Democrat, simply switch to any of the other 86 news stations.
2. Religion – Most religion is okay to discuss, just do not discuss Christianity. It is never a good idea to bring your Bible to the dinner. Most families have a wide array of opinions that will create a certain dispute. But if you are a fun-loving person, simply bring your Bible and discuss what Presidential Candidate was the right one biblically. (See #1)
3. Kids – Always choose to stay away from the subject of kids. No matter how good your kids are, everyone else’s are better at sports, school or church.
I hope this helps. These are lessons that you can apply to any dinner with the family. Just to remind you, alot of this was written as satire. But if you would like to send it to Dear Abby for her to use, feel free. Just sign my name, Family Figured Out, Rogers Arkansas.