Five Reasons to Skip Thanksgiving Dinner and Five Usable Excuses

Five Reasons to Skip Thanksgiving Dinner and Five Usable Excuses
image: Mark Seliger for RollingStone.com

Parts of this have been reprinted from previous posts.  You can scroll down to the bottom if you'd like to skip to the advice that will help you gird yourself for the inevitable Thanksgiving Battle Royale:

Reasons to skip Thanksgiving dinner:

1. Get a 70" TV at Walmart for $100
2. Crazy cousin Eddie got a concealed carry permit
3. Takes a month to recover from touch football game
4. Aunt Martha won't stop bitching about Obamacare
5. Stuffing - nuff said

Usable excuses:

1. Toilet keeps overflowing, have to wait for plumber
2. Volunteer border patrol duty today
3. Car stolen
4. Dog/cat keeps vomiting/has diarrhea
5. Being quarantined for Ebola

Thanksgiving can be a day of incredible stress and this year will be WAY worse.  That I can tell you.

Other than the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, I'm not a fan of Thanksgiving food and tend to approach the gathering of relatives with extreme trepidation.

Coming from a largely dysfunctional family may have soured me on the whole Thanksgiving thing, but it's also possible that Thanksgiving is just another made up holiday that totally sucks.

Some folks look forward to Thanksgiving as a kickoff event, in the very literal sense. There are probably more football games on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. I'm not really a football fan, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanksgiving also kicks off the holiday shopping season and winter, although the Winter Solstice doesn't actually occur until December 21.

Historically, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the end for Native Americans.  Not such a great commemoration if you're a member of the Sioux Nation.  Do we really want to remind Native Americans that we're the worst immigrants EVER?

We have good reasons to avoid Thanksgiving dinner and viable excuses to use.  Some of us will go, anyway, so here's a tip to survive the ordeal:  Be Larry David.

David, creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm is in a constant struggle with himself and everyone around him.  He has mastered a technique though, from which we can all benefit, and not just on holidays.

(Start here to gird yourself for the Thanksgiving Battle Royale)

Arguments break down into two main categories.  There's the political-religious ones, which nobody ever wins and should be avoided at all costs.

Then there's the more personal arguments that are usually the opening of old wounds.  They tend to involve things like "You should have known" or "I told you before..." or the ubiquitous, "Why would you..?"

These arguments turn into circuitous loops that go on ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Instead of allowing yourself to get caught in that trap, just stop.  Literally, just stop.  Take a few beats and stare at the other person as if you're trying to determine their sanity.  Then, just say, "OK" and go back to what you were doing as if it never happened.

You can count that as a win, which is not to say that you settled anything.  You won because you ended it without losing your cool and storming out of the house.

In the end, I think you'll find that this technique works pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

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