Some families may be delighted to have this time with their beloved in-laws, but this hand grab of tips is definitely not for them. Happy holidays to those entering the loving embrace of family but the rest of us need to have a quick huddle. You mommies and daddies who are heading off into a hellish den of post-election fights and years of resentment with a side of turkey need to have a plan and I’ve got just the tips to ensure a mediocre — if not slightly uncomfortable — holiday. Unfortunately, that’s the best some of us can hope for.
Whether you’re going to meet annoying cousins, grating in-laws, or pissy siblings, the rules are the same. Everyone knows that staying away from politics and religion are the standard etiquette whether going on a job interview or for others, simply visiting Gradma. But even abiding by those classics won’t keep all the plagues of a horrendous family Thanksgiving at bay. You need some back up that includes talking points, booze, and even perfecting that serene, nodding, “I’m so intrigued in everything you’re saying face” when being treated to a tour of pumpkin pie recipes. So plan ahead, plan often, and always have a fully charged iPod close by.