November 22, 2012

Craft Your Holiday: Thanksgiving Survival Tips

Although Thanksgiving is time for reflection and giving thanks to all those things we typically take for granted, it can also bring out the worst in us especially if you add alcohol.

Here are some of my Thanksgiving holiday survival tips.
1. Alcohol. For me, it'd be difficult to have a family gathering without it. It's something I enjoy and love. A lot. Too much, however, turns me into a rabid dog. I don't know what it is but Mark, my honey, becomes "fun guy" while I becomes the wicked witch of  Western NY. Not good.

Know your limits. If you've been drinking since you were a teenager, like the rest of us, you should know what it is. For me, in a 3 hour time span,  it's about two and a half martini's, or three glasses of wine or a couple of glasses of a fruity punch.

Holidays are ruined by the drunk acting like a jack-ass. We've all seen the sloppy mess (or have been one- not me of course. haha). Try not to be a total lush especially  if it's not your home.

2. Children. What is it about a holiday that makes kids act like berserks?  Throw a handful of cousins together and its pandemonium. I hate kids running around, yelling all the time. They're not even yelling about anything in particular. Please, find a place for them to play, like Timbuktu or Guatemala. Send them to the basement, get a couple movies or games or some activity and as best possible. Keep them busy.

As far as teenagers are concerned, nothing you can do about them. They're either going to get out of there as soon as possible or going to be hanging all over you, telling you how bored they are.

As kids get older they become more engaged in general conversation or playing games like Pictionary, Balderdash. They'll never be happy. They are  teenagers. They hate everything.

3. Food. Don't go to someone's  empty handed. It's such a nice thing to tell the host in advance what you're bringing this way they have one less dish to make.

4.  Clean up: Don't be a slob. Pick up after yourself. When you're done eating take your plate to the kitchen and don't be shy about washing it and putting it away either. Cleaning is the worst chore especially after a full day of eating and drinking. This is the best time to put kids to use. Assign a task to each of them, while they are eating, so they know not to get up from the table and run away like the little maniacs they are.

5. Leave sooner than later:  Pay attention to social cues. If you're the last person standing, the host is yawning and getting into their pajamas, GO HOME.

Those are the few things I've learned over the years. Of course, the best memories are the ones of debauchery and shenanigans so feel free to enforce these rules with a light touch.