Tips to Liven Up Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: food... Fellowship... 30 people crammed into a dining room the size of a shoebox, half of them with food allergies, though none of them the exact same ones...

The potential for someone swelling up bigger than the Macy's Day Garfield balloon adds that extra layer of thanks onto the festivities when no one actually snuffs it.

And at every family get-together, there's always that one person who makes a real statement. Like Uncle Joey who brings a case of beer he drinks himself all before half-time and then begins to regale everyone with the history of the combustion engine.

Or Aunt Clara who isn't speaking to Aunt Betty since the Chestnut Stuffing Schism of 1987.

Or Grandpa Hinky who won't wear his hearing aid and needs the TV volume turned up to 11.

But this year.... this year, the colorful family member no one could possibly forget can be you... Simply follow these helpful tips!

  • You know all those handmade Christmas sweaters family have given you over the years? Wear them. All of them. At once. Shed them one at a time every fifteen minutes for a special surprise each time.
  • Recreate the Thanksgiving of your youth. Enter, wearing a snow suit with mitten clips and carrying the toy of your choice. Sit at a table separate from everyone else on a step-stool. Insist someone has to cut your meat. Whine you're bored until people try to coerce you into playing one of those games Grandma has but no one really likes, like Pit, Parcheesi or Yahtzee.
  • Pretend you're actually attending the family's annual Easter dinner. Come in an Easter bonnet (gender irrelevant here). Ask when the egg hunt will begin, and distribute chocolate rabbits with the ears pre-bitten off.
  • Transform Thanksgiving into a Snuggie party. Give pre-Christmas Snuggies in a variety of designer colors and patterns to everyone in attendance and insist they wear them. Take photos and post them to your blog and YouTube.
  • Wear novelty teeth to the event. See how long it takes for someone to notice you're wearing them. Then see how long it takes before someone says anything to you about it.
  • Call everyone by a different nickname-- like Skippy, Buster, Rutabega and Tall-Stuff. Or just call everyone by the same nickname. I suggest Humperdinck.
  • Answer anything anyone addresses to you with a question. See how long you can hold out. If attending the event with immediate family, ask them to play along for points.
  • Develop a new phobia, like of the color green. Run shrieking from anyone or anything in that color, shielding your eyes.
  • Eat all of Thanksgiving dinner with a spoon only.
  • Turn your Thanksgiving into a musical event. Instead of speaking to your relatives, why not sing out, sing proud? Work up some impromptu dance moves to accompany it, and encourage everyone to join in. Bring an iPod and speakers for musical accompaniment. Don't let anyone leave before the big finish-- the 20-minute version of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant.
  • Shake hands and hug everyone-- then begin coughing and mention how your doctor had begged you not to attend, but hey, the H1N1 results aren't back yet and Thanksgiving wouldn't wait. Tell 'em that's how much you love your wonderful family.

We at Of Cabbages and Kings hope these fresh ideas for Thanksgiving festivities bring a special bright spot to your holiday get-togethers this year!

DISCLAIMER: Of Cabbages and Kings is not responsible for any institutionalizations, competency hearings, divorces, loss of child custody rights, death by improper food inhalation, heat exhaustion due to sweater excess, or tryptophan coma as a result of these suggestions.

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22 comments:

Jaffer said...

The last one did in fact happen to way back in grade 1 !
My classmate shook my hand and coughed on it - they he said he was sick and wanted to share !

I don't quite remember if that kid lives. Meh...

Anyway, for those overweight people, show up in a sipderman/batman costume - and declare "Oh dear" and walk out...

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- Oh, that's a good one. I wish I'd come up with that!

Michael Rivers said...

What great ideas! Have a great Thanksgiving.

madtexter (corey james) said...

Fun tips! Not only am I going to implement the eating everything with a spoon idea, I may start a 'he said/she said' battle by telling certain family members rumours about other family members. By the time we're ready to eat, they'll all be liquered up, and all I'll have to do is just sit back and watch the show! BWWWHAHAHAHA!

Jenn Thorson said...

Michael- Hey, you too! Be careful out there. :)

Mad Texter- You look like such a nice, smiley fellow in your photos yet beneath that lies a cunning evil. :)

Melanie said...

What great ways to make a miserable holiday fun! :D Much better than my old method of just getting likkered up.

I like the idea of developing a phobia. I think I'll be like my son in law's dog and be afraid to walk on linoleum (or my great grandmother who wouldn't walk across carpet).

Jenn Thorson said...

Melanie- Ha! I am getting this great picture of a nicely dressed lady in heels looking concerned and clip-clapping gingerly on the linoleum like a deer on ice. And... curious now, what was the dealio with great-grandma and carpeting? Static fear?

nonamedufus said...

Oh I wish I had these for Canadian Thanksgiving back in October. At our house I just interjected every 10 minutes, "So, how about those Indians?"

nonamedufus said...

Ah, comment moderation is enabled. That's why I just left the same message twice. Sorry. I wondered where the heck it went.

Jenn Thorson said...

Dufus- Hey, no problem-- I was just getting hit with so much Spam from Anonymous, I had to start moderating so I would make sure it didn't get published. Yes-- sorry I missed Canadian Thanksgiving! At least you had your own survival tactic. :)

lifeshighway said...

Implementing Plan Snuggy. Visiting Wally Mart tomorrow. Bonus points for the new animal print variety. I believe as hostess I will wear the zebra.

Jessie said...

was that a subtle spinal tap reference i see?

and love the ideas,especialy the swine flu one.

Jenn Thorson said...

Life's Highway- Don't forget one for the family dog! :)

Jessie- Why, yes it was-- thank you for noticing! :)

nothingprofound said...

I was thinking of dressing up as a member of PETA and abducting the turkey and bringing it to a neutral zone of safety. Even though the turkey is dead I figured it might serve as a symbolic gesture. But you have some good suggestions here so maybe I'll change my mind.

Like your new avatar

Jenn Thorson said...

NP- (grin) I can see you sweeping in like a SWAT team member in a kidnapping rescue situation.

I can also see the blinking expressions of the people around the table who, moments earlier, were preparing to carve into that now-liberated bird. :)

TJ Lubrano said...

Oh NP's idea sounds cool as well! "Safe the Turkey!", he would do that perfectly in his PETA outfit running around etc.

Maybe I can play the weird hostess and ask everyone what they would like to drink and before they answer I just walk away. Or I can just give them a hug when they come in and never let go. Or take their coats and just give it back and walk away.

I like the Swine flu one too! Maybe I just start sneezing a lot.

Jenn! Really, now I have too many ideas ^_^!

Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Jenn Thorson said...

TJ- I can see holidays in the Netherlands will never quite be the same again! :) (The asking drink orders and walking away in the middle made me laugh-- I can imagine the looks on peoples' faces... "Did you ever get your beer?" "No. Did you?"

Unfinished Rambler said...

Thanks for all the tips, but our family is just naturally funny. They don't need any more help, thank you very much. :)

Angela Williams Duea said...

Thanks for these hilarious tips! I think I may try the question suggestion. Although my family is not very playful or funny.

timethief said...

Your tips are hilarious! As Thanksgiving has come and gone in Canada, I'm going to pass them on to a friend who has many difficult relatives who are coming to here place for Christmas dinner. ;)

Jenn Thorson said...

Unfinished Dude- Okay, sure YOUR family-- but what about the REST of the United States? I'm doing a PUBLIC SERVICE here for happier holiday survival, bub! It's bigger than one Rambler and his fine Rambling family! :)

TT- Oh, excellent! Thanks-- and please extend my sympathies to your friend. Here's hoping the holiday season will go unexpectedly smoothly. :)

Angela- Family doesn't have to be playful or funny for it to at least amuse the heck out of you-- and hey, that's 75% of it, anyway. :)

Van said...

Answer everything in a question? That would be a fun drinking game! I want in on this. And developing new phobias. Yes, I'm really going to use these tips to torture my family this year :)