We’re already seeing Christmas decorations and infuriating music everywhere, which ironically means it’s almost time for Thanksgiving! While it’s many Americans’ favorite holiday, it can be an arduous struggle for many of us.

Your family relationships aren’t always as seamless as your friendships. And getting together with them all round a table and plowing them full of alcohol and turkey can make the situation a little delicate. Feral mom egos battle it out in the kitchen, nearing blows over the goopy consistency of the gravy. Slurring dads argue about football formations and explain their fantasy plays with empty beer cans on the living room floor. Half the kids are running around screaming, and the other half are glued to their iPhone screens. Grandpa is drunkenly snoring and dribbling on his sweater.


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Thanksgiving should be viewed like a battle: think ahead, make your plan, and survive the evening so you can start Christmas shopping already!

Here are our tips on how to survive a dreaded Thanksgiving dinner!

Offer to help cook

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Offering to help cook can get you away from relatives you don’t want to talk to, and it also helps make sure that mom and grandma aren’t the only ones doing all the work. Plus you get to scam bites of all the food as it’s being made!

Avoid problem relatives

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If you know there’s one or two problem relatives that you know you will butt heads with, simply avoid them all together if possible! Keep yourself busy cooking, rake some leaves, pretend to take a phone call, or even lock yourself in the bathroom. Anything. It sounds rude, but it’s for the best.

Bring a barrier person

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If you can, bring along somebody to act as a barrier. This can be a friend, significant other, or even somebody that has never experienced your families torturous version of Thanksgiving before. Sometimes your family will behave better if there’s an outsider present, and at the very least you’ll have someone to talk to and cry on when its all said and done.

You don’t always need alcohol

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If you know that there’s one or two people that might start to be a problem after a couple drinks, it’s best to avoid alcohol completely at your Thanksgiving dinner. If you think everybody is going to be especially hard to deal with, you can always buy those tiny bottles of alcohol and stash them in your pockets for pounding in the bathroom between courses.

Warning: This might be something you just have to deal with.

Assigned seating can go a long way

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Your table should be organized like a political summit: put the most extreme people on either end of the table. Putin and Obama can’t sit together, and neither can your Aunt Jennifer and your mom’s friend Karen.

Provide an escape

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Sometimes people just want to eat then chill, which is why it’s always a good idea to have some football or movies on in another room. This will act like a magnet for anyone that’s shying away from conflict and just wants to stare at a screen until it’s over.

Send drunks to Black Friday

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If anybody has had too much to drink or is clearly over the evening, convince them to start lining up outside Best Buy for the Black Friday sales early! Perhaps being pummeled by a stampede for a discount Xbox will sober them up real nice.

Good luck everybody, have a great Thanksgiving!