Tips for reconciling after a tense Turkey Day

So, you decided to mess up Thanksgiving this year. Maybe you said something at the table that made your grandpa drop his dentures in his stuffing. Did you pull the wishbone too hard and bump into your mom pulling the pies out of the oven, causing her to get a second-degree burn?

It happens to the best of us. Thanksgiving is not always that picture-perfect holiday. Something has to go awry, but when isn’t there a little holiday drama? However, if you really messed up this Thanksgiving or are trying to prevent this from happening next year, try one of these solutions to make up with your family (if they haven’t already disowned you).

First, do what’s asked without even being told. You don’t have to become a total suckup, but doing slightly above the bare minimum is a sure way to undo the troubles you caused at Thanksgiving. Picking up your grandparents at the airport while your parents are working? Kudos to you. Forcing yourself to eat the fruitcake that your aunt still makes even though no one really enjoys it? Don’t subject yourself to that torture. 

Second, watch the cousins for a while. Even if your cousins are the rowdy ones who demand piggyback rides every five seconds, take them away from the adults so they can have time to destress. Know that they probably will talk about you while you are being forced to watch Paw Patrol or play tag. However, if you can convince your cousins to play hide and seek, you might get those few minutes of peace and quiet to get your act together. 

Third, pay close attention to what everyone wants. Normally, you should save money, but since it’s Christmas, you’ll be getting presents in return so it cancels out (at least you should get presents, but that depends on how bitter your relatives are). Does Uncle Jerry want a new toolbox? You better go purchase the cleanest-looking one with multiple compartments. Does Aunt Karen want a new purse? Find an expensive-looking purse that’s still cheap enough to hold all the napkins that she’s written the manager’s numbers on just in case. 

Fourth, participate in family traditions, no matter how crazy or wild they seem. If your family hides a pickle in the tree, you better be elbow deep in sap looking for it. Host a Christmas cookie decorating competition and see who could be on The Great British Bakeoff. Plan fun activities that will distract your family away from all the horrible things you did a month ago. 

If all else fails and your relatives still remember what a fool you made of yourself, go around and apologize to everyone, if necessary. Humans make mistakes; that’s just a fact of life. If they can’t accept the fact that mistakes happen to everyone, make sure you sit next to them next year, just close enough to extend your elbow when the gravy boat is in their hands. 

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