Thanksgiving Survival Guide


And just like that… it’s November!

Some radio stations are already playing holiday tunes, the leaves have turned and are starting to fall, and that Mercedes Benz commercial with Santa Claus is already in full rotation. You know the one.

Now that Halloween is all boxed up and packed away in the attic/garage, our sights are set on the next big holiday: Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving shares the title of “most anticipated feast of the year” for many. But it’s also earned the distinction (if you want to call it that) of being the least anticipated family gathering of the year for about as many. As life just gets busier and busier, Thanksgiving tends to sneak up on all of us. And that’s not great news.

Thanksgiving might require more preparation than any other holiday, and yet we allow it to sneak up on us like that grumpy green guy who hates that other big winter holiday. Still, that’s no excuse to be Grinchy. If you can’t thrive this Thanksgiving, at least survive it.

At Grub, we want only the best for you. Here’s our Thanksgiving survival guide to get you through the big (turkey) day:

The Early Bird Gets the Early Bird

We’ve all seen it happen before. Some procrastinator thinks they can snap up a turkey at the last minute. We almost envy their moxie. But, by the time they make it to the supermarket, it’s slim pickings. And now no one’s campaigning for the honor of getting to carve the Thanksgiving SPAM.

If there’s one thing not to put off on, it’s the main course. Get your bird as soon as you can to ensure that mystery meat doesn’t spoil your Thanksgiving cornucopia.

And don’t think that your grocer is your only option. Grabbing some of your Thanksgiving grub from, well, Grub is always a smooth move. In fact, our mac n’ cheese, Brussels sprouts, or a few of our Stuffing Your Face sandwiches are more than enough to do the trick.

Finally, always remember that there’s more than one way to cook a turkey. And there are no dumb questions. Well, OK, maybe there are a few that aren’t worth asking.

Get Some Prep in Your Step

Speaking of procrastination, there’s more to a successful Turkey Day than just buying a turkey. Make sure your house is in order. Keep it clean leading up to the big day. Eat on paper plates with plastic utensils leading up to it if you have to.

Equally important? Making sure you have the right cooking implements and gadgets. That means using an actual casserole dish to bake your green bean casserole, setting aside another actual casserole dish for the stuffing, and candying those yams in yet another actual casserole dish. So, yeah, we’re basically saying that now is the time to stock up on casserole dishes.

Dietary Buzzkills

Any nut allergies? Vegans? Vegetarians? What about that cousin of yours? Is she still doing Whole30?

Make sure you find out ahead of time. If you don’t feel like customizing the Thanksgiving meal based on your guests’ dietary restrictions, maybe you really aren’t the hostess with the mostest.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

You can’t do all this on your own. Meet with your guests weeks in advance and ask if others can bring something. There’s nothing wrong with a good Thanksgiving potluck. Plus, your vegan aunt can bring her Quinoa Surprise, giving you one less thing to worry about (flavor aside).

Moreover, don’t be shy about asking for help on the big day. Have someone set the table while you cook, wash while you dry, and watch the game for you while you nap.

Your Plus One

If you’re not the one hosting, be sure you get your host’s blessing before bringing along that new hottie from Tinder. Or even that new friend. Remember: mom’s house, mom’s rules.

Double Booked

On that note, be sure not to overextend yourself on Thanksgiving. We’ve heard of people doing three Thanksgiving meals in one day! Not only is that a lot of turkey, but it’s also a lot of travel on a day that’s meant for R&R. Limit it to only two (or just one if you can).

Conversation No-Fly Zone

Religion… politics… you know the drill. Maybe one of the reasons you don’t like Thanksgiving is because dinner often resembles a scene from 12 Angry Men. Be the voice of reason. Steer the conversation to something light, like the weather, or the distinction between Kantian deontology and Utilitarianism (jk).

If you’re still not sure, here are eight phrases you should never say while seated at the holiday table.

So Now What?

OK, the meal is done, and now everyone is sitting around not sure what to do. There’s always a second helping of dessert or endless football. But that might not be for everyone. How about more bonding, then? With that in mind, here’s a list of games to play with the whole family as everyone works to fight off the drowsy side effects of tryptophan.

Old Traditions and New

Most importantly, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends. Make the most of it. Honor traditions of old, but maybe establish some new ones as well. Sing songs around the piano, or get to crafting. Even if you don’t have enough macaroni noodles and hot glue to go around, you can use your hand and some crayons. Fire up your imagination!

If our Thanksgiving Survival Guide doesn’t tide you over, here’s another good resource to help you get through Thanksgiving in one piece. Or this one.

Happy Turkey Day from your friends at Grub!

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