Ah, Thanksgiving, the festive holiday where it’s acceptable to eat until you burst and for football to blare all day on the TV. But the stress of traveling, spending long periods of time with family and friends, and preparing the perfect meal can add up. That’s why we at SIXT have come up with a Thanksgiving survival guide to deal with common scenarios that may pop up and attempt to ruin your day.
How to Get to Your Destination Without Going Crazy
Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking the train to your Thanksgiving celebration of choice, there will be many other people with the same idea. The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year in the United States and traffic jams, delayed flights and trains, and general mayhem can make anyone’s blood pressure go up. Here are some ideas of how to stay zen:
- Download a lot of music and podcasts to make the time go faster while driving or otherwise traveling. If you’re not driving, bring some noise-canceling headphones to block everything out and go to your happy place.
- If driving, use an app like Waze to help you avoid accidents and other traffic problems that can slow you down.
- Offer to bring a dessert to your gathering. That way if you face delays or other frustrations, you can just dig into your pumpkin pie and say it was an emergency situation.
How to Get that Big Meal on the Table
If you are hosting Thanksgiving and have a lot of people to feed, the task of cooking can seem daunting. But if you plan ahead, things can go smoothly so you aren’t running around like a turkey with your head cut off (sorry!) on the big day.
- Make a plan at least a couple of weeks ahead of time of what food you will cook, and what you will ask others to bring.
- Cook or bake what you can a day ahead of time. Pies, bread, and some side dishes are perfect candidates.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Whoever said there were too many cooks in the kitchen never made a Thanksgiving meal for 20 on their own.
- Did we mention wine? You should have a glass of wine after cooking all day. You deserve it.
How to Avoid Arguments
You can find multiple videos on YouTube of people getting into arguments on Thanksgiving over fairly mundane things (the last piece of sweet potato pie, in one case). If you don’t want to be the subject of a viral video, here are ways to keep your cool when family and friends start to annoy you.
- Go for a walk. This will seem antisocial but you can spin it as “if I exercise I can eat another piece of pie!”
- Hiding in the bathroom for a little break is always a good way to regain your sanity.
- Stay away from talking about politics. This is a good idea for any holiday meal.
- Drink some wine. This is to be used as a last resort, but drinking a glass of wine will either make you forget about whatever annoyed you, or make you so sleepy you take a nap on the couch.
How to Answer Your Nosy Relatives’ Questions
When grandma asks you for the 20th time why you’re single, or your dad asks when you’re going to get a “real” job, you might be checking whether you can change your flight and leave earlier. But there are better ways to get out of these conversations unscathed.
- Change the subject to something else. Simply ask a question of whoever you are talking to and hopefully, they will forget they were interrogating you and move on.
- Excuse yourself. Maybe you have to go to the bathroom. Or you need to get another drink. Whether it’s true or not, going to another room is a tried and true move.
- Answer honestly. Tell grandma that you don’t want to date anyone right now, or tell your dad that you actually like your job at a coffee shop. Maybe it will work!
How to Enjoy the Day
Thanksgiving is, after all, a day to give thanks. And because you worked so hard either to get to your destination or cooking a meal, you deserve some relaxation. You can watch football, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or a classic movie. Or put on your best sweatpants and eat that third piece of pie. After the big meal, you can coax everyone outside if the weather allows and play touch football, or hide and seek, or simply go for a walk. Whatever your plans are, enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest!