Surviving the week with family, foes, and food

By on November 20, 2012

Point blank, Thanksgiving is awesome. What is more American than stuffing your face with comfort food and burning off the calories by running through the mall searching for Black Friday sales? Um, nothing. However, this holiday can sometimes be more stressful than Hallmark card-y.  I mean, you probably have five hundred people running around in the kitchen, family members coming to town, turkey as hard as a Frisbee, and your hometown ex is hitting you up. Here’s how to solve those dilemmas, one at a time.

You can’t cook:

You’re expected to make dessert, but you’re more Wolfgang suck than Wolfgang Puck when it comes to navigating the kitchen. Don’t panic. Go to the grocery store, pick up a can of pumpkin and use the recipe on the back for pumpkin pie. If that fails, I give you permission to go buy a pie, put some whipped cream and cinnamon on top, and claim it was your grandma’s recipe (Hint: Make sure your grandma won’t be at Thanksgiving dinner).

You don’t want to gain 10 pounds:

The turkey isn’t the culprit; it’s all of the side dishes and desserts. Stick to the white meat turkey breast, load up on veggies and then fill what’s left of the plate with whatever you want. The protein of the turkey and fibers of the veggies are filling, so you won’t feel deprived.

If you’ve already indulged in a Thanksgiving dinner large enough to feed a third-world country, don’t unbutton your pants and slip into a food coma just yet. Grab a football and head outside with your family for a game of touch. Seeing your aunt channeling her inner Dan Marino will be so fun that you won’t even realize that you’re burning calories.  

Your family is…rough around the edges:

If you’re being forced to spend the holidays with them, remind yourself that it’s only a few days and they are your family. Thanksgiving is a time to really appreciate who we have, even if they’re less-than-perfect. So, in the spirit of breaking bread with the Native Americans, play nice. Start a tradition like saying one thing about the person sitting next to you that you’re thankful for. It may seem corny, but sometimes people just need a genuine compliment.

Your hometown hookup is hitting you up:

Well, this is a no-brainer if you’re interested. However, if you’re not, blowing them off can be kind of hard, especially since they know you’re in town. The excuse I recommend using is, “Sorry, I’m only home for a few days, and my family is really keeping me busy.” If they hang out in your group of friends and you’re bound to see them, honesty is the best policy.

To score the best Black Friday deals:

Black Friday is a serious Thanksgiving tradition in my house. The night before, my mom and I always map out our course. Seriously, we actually draw it out. You should see the way my foreign friends look at us when I bring them home for Thanksgiving. Though, they understand our plan of action at 5 a.m. I definitely recommend making a plan of what you actually need and what you’re willing to pay for. Don’t compromise, or else you’ll end up with a bunch of stuff you waited an hour in line and paid full price for. 

Jaime Ritter
jritter@uab.edu
Staff Writer

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