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Editorial: 13 ways to distract your family at Thanksgiving dinner

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Editorial: 13 ways to distract your family at Thanksgiving dinner

Billy Galant

Billy Galant

Billy Galant

Billy Galant

Oh, Thanksgiving. It’s a time to gather with family and friends, reflect on the past year’s blessings and stuff your face until you are in a food-induced coma. But nothing can spoil your appetite faster than when politics are put on the table.

We all have that racist uncle and cousin who just returned from saving the whales, and after last week’s election, it may be tougher than ever to keep them at bay.

The biggest conflict on this hungriest of holidays should be who gets the last helping of sweet potatoes, not whether the electoral college is a waste or if climate change exists.

To keep everyone’s hearts and stomachs full this Thanksgiving, try distracting your family with these 13 strategies:

1. Talk football; injure the most vocal Turkey Bowl participants

If the election result wasn’t bad enough, you don’t need your uncle who’s had a few beers egging you on all day. That’s where the football comes in. We would never promote harm or hate toward another person, especially a family member, but maybe you can remind them of their age. Show off your intramural skills, and lay out a strong hit to maybe remind your uncle who’s the young buck now.

2. Try out the Mannequin Challenge

When the food isn’t done and the younger kids are getting cranky, distract them with the Mannequin Challenge — Thanksgiving-style. Dad can freeze while yelling at the football game on TV and Aunt Martha will be caught red-handed trying to steal Mom’s pumpkin pie recipe. Just don’t be surprised when your sleepy grandpa steals the show without trying. And if nobody wants in, you can avoid conversation altogether by putting on a personal wax museum display.

3. Get everybody drunk; bring home your college drinking games

Many students at the University are enthusiastic about their alcohol, but rarely do they consider the hidden benefit of potent potables: it’s very, very difficult to speak while drinking. The sacred art of feeding your family members drinks is not to be taken lightly; students should reserve only the most prestigious of drinking games for such an occasion. Think “Cheers to the Governor,” not Flip Cup. If everything goes right, your family will be jovially discussing the finer points of a beer pong follow-through for the entire night.

4. Don’t let anybody get drunk

Proceed with caution, though. Irresponsible consumption leads to irresponsible conversation, so the risks of giving your definitely-21-year-old cousin the pledge treatment are high. For those with more timid families, the best strategy may be to keep the liquor cabinet locked.

5. Bring a significant other; propose to them with a ring pop if things get out of hand

It’s cuffing season, and you’ve picked up a new bae. Or maybe you’ve been dating the same person for six years. Either way, better bring them with you to keep you sane and get ‘em in on the antics if things get out of hand. Who says a ring pop proposal can’t build bridges instead of walls?

6. Sit at the kids table; drink beer.

You’re finally 21, and you’re really nailing this whole adult thing — until your aunt reminds you that you’re supposed to sit with your cousin who still picks his nose. Good thing it’s legally, but maybe not socially, acceptable for you to pick up a cold one and drown your sorrows. And hey, 8-year-olds rarely offer hot takes on socioeconomic strife.

7. Propose new recipes so food is the topic of discussion

Nothing brings people together better than food, so bring your college dabbling skills home and get cooking. When Uncle Manny starts to mention that a certain former female presidential nominee should go to prison, immediately shove a spoonful of homemade stuffing into his mouth before he can complete the thought.

8. Pull up funny YouTube videos

Whether it’s Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV or your grandpa’s old-school desktop, watching ridiculous Youtube videos is a perfectly distracting pastime for the entire family. Pull up a few Bad Lip Readings or some classic Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync Battles, they’re sure to bring some nonpolitical joy to this year’s gluttonous endeavor.

9. Bring out ugly sweaters early; sacrifice your dignity for the greater good

Make sure that people have something to laugh about instead of bringing up old beef or talking turkey — bring out the ugly holiday sweater to the gathering. It makes for a good laugh, and you won’t look so huge after the Thanksgiving feast.

10. Bring up the Cubs; talk trash to White Sox and Cardinal fans

Hey, they finally did it! The Cubs finally won the World Series, and you’ve been reminding everyone on Earth since it happened. Now you have a new group of people to talk to, and boy are they going to hear it — especially those White Sox and Cardinal fan relatives. After years of both daunting you? Well, well well … how the turn tables.

11. Invoke the spirit of Harambe

If the rest of your attempts to keep your family distracted fail, quickly change the subject by saying, “Anyway, there’s one less gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo.” When your family gives you the quizzical look that is sure to be the reaction, show them Harambe memes and talk about how justice for Harambe has not yet been served.

12. Bring up your grades

Even though the last thing you want to think about during a break is upcoming finals, it can be worth it to bite the bullet and bring up your grades when the topic turns to Trump’s abysmal transition period. You’ll either be reprimanded for your slightly less abysmal grades, or congratulated on a semester almost well done. Anything better than listening to your relative defend Steve Bannon.

13. Make everyone feel grateful

We know it might be hard to say anything non-sarcastic to cousin Felisha after all the times she threw you under the bus growing up, but we know you can do it. Make a point to show your family that you love them, and are thankful to have them in your life.  After all, you wouldn’t be your well-rounded, slightly-damaged-self without Grandma’s quaint traditions and Aunt June’s backhanded compliments.