Tips to survive family reunions

Every year, students return home for copious amounts of food and family time. While both of these are good, they can make even the happiest of holidays stressful. Students, this is the survival guide to family Thanksgiving.

1. Avoid politics. Nothing good ever comes from fist fighting, throwing the food Grandma worked so hard to prepare or exchanging passive-aggressive comments about a family member’s political preferences. In light of the recent election, arguing over who voted for whom is irrelevant at this point anyhow. 

2. Abstain from getting sloppy drunk, even after someone brings up politics. This will only make matters worse. 

3. Never, under any circumstance, insult someone’s cooking. Making a snide comment about Aunt Gina’s dry macaroni and cheese is the quickest way to receive a smack to the mouth. 

4. Avoid talkative relatives who cannot stop asking about the job, the grades, the love live or lack thereof. If avoiding this person does not go as planned, just be honest with them. Then, get away as quickly as possible. 

5. Help out when possible (if your family allows extra people in the kitchen). It would be so kind to offer to help cut the turkey, set and clear the table or even wash dishes. Putting together a Thanksgiving meal for a whole herd of people is not easy.

6. Be patient. Even as the delicious smell dances into all the rooms in the house,  it is not done until the cook says it is done. 

7. Wear comfortable pants. This is quite possibly one of the most important Thanksgiving tips. If eating a lot of food is in the near future, elastic pants will surely serve the wearer well. If the pants do not expand, for the love of all that is good, do not take them off. The family does not need to see the rest of your blessings.

8. Speaking of eating to the point of misery, do not eat until the point of sickness. No one wants to clean that up, and no one wants to hear whining for the rest of the day.

9. Always save room for dessert. This is the best part. If the family misses out on the pumpkin pie, did Thanksgiving even happen?

10. Expect the unexpected. Have a plan in place if pets try to steal the food, or if one of the little cousins vomits under the table. Strategy is key. 

11. Have Mom pack up all the leftovers. Dining dollars do not last forever, especially with finals quickly approaching.