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Rules of engagement.

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Thanksgiving is great if you are a monk.

For most of us, the holidays get stressful. There are a lot of potential triggers lurking around every corner.

From the Qanon Shaman uncle to your cousin with no filter. It’s often a fight to not allow our emotions to get out of hand.

Pick Battles

Picking your battles can be a great way to keep you from losing your cool on a family member. Everyone has different perspectives. Often those with the strongest opinions feel the need to share.

Instead of jumping on every random thing said, take a moment, breathe, and try to move on. It isn’t worth getting wrapped up in a debate with someone who isn’t looking for a conversation. Is it?

Or not. You can jump on every statement. Just get in there and refute everything.

It will escalate, but who cares? You have a voice, and most likely, you are RIGHT.

Spend the entire dinner Googling facts and figures to prove their line of thought wrong.

When the person decides to surrender, then you can eat in peace. Knowing that you did not allow the lies to succeed.

If not, you might end up on the nightly news.

At the very least, it will make for a great story, and hopefully, someone live streams it.

Speed Date

Like a speed dater, don’t waste time catching up to each family member. Keep the intros short and sweet.

“Hello, Uncle Bob. Good to see you?”

Keep it short, and be sure to acknowledge everyone. If this is done right, eating and running will be a breeze. You can hug enough necks that they aren’t sure if you arrived or were about to leave.

This is perfect. It can be done if you want to maximize the number of Thanksgiving dinner parties you can attend.

It’s genius.

You are welcome to do the usual meet and greet. Where you catch up with family and spend actual quality time. But be prepared for an entire day spent.

You will have some decent conversations that aren’t terrible. But, inevitably, you will have to pick a battle. That battle might escalate to a full-on scream fest or WORST.

If that’s your thing, then congrats. Get that conflict you crave.

Just remember I warned you.

Avoid Experimental Dishes

It seems every family has a person who tries to innovate Thanksgiving dishes. We don’t need cauliflower cheddar mash or tofurkey.

Keep your eyes out for odd dishes. In some cases, you might find something edible, but is it worth the risk?

Every society has pillars. Those pillars dictate the ideals we hold dear. Thanksgiving has pillars as well. Only eat what you know.

Stick to the basics, and you can’t go wrong.

You have a choice, though. Go for the experimental dishes. Give them a try. What’s the worst that can happen?

I’ll tell you. You eat something so wrong that you have to confront the chef. This chef is clearly an expert and will not listen.

Once again, things escalate. You expose their deepest darkest secret. After a while, the party is rocked.

All this could be avoided if you stayed away from the food.

There you go. Three ways to keep Thanksgiving homicide-free in 2021.

Let me know if you have any more suggestions. I want to hear!

All jokes aside, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. Without any unnecessary drama surrounded by loved ones.