How to Avoid Confrontation at Thanksgiving Dinner: A Guide

By Amanda Bertsch

With the recent election, politics is bound to come up over the turkey this year. Struggling to cope with your relatives’ political choices? Looking to avoid the subject of Aunt Muriel’s political theories? Just plain sick of politics? Denobis has you covered with your last minute guide to the holidays. These five simple strategies are guaranteed to turn the conversation to safer subjects.

1. Announce that you’re going to school for 18th century artistic portrayals of Nigerian literature.

This is the time of year for many to get caught up on their family’s business, so don’t hold back! Memorize this absurd major and you’ll be sure to impress. Your grandparents will be too busy enumerating the ways you’ll fail to get a job and be a productive member of society to even ask how you voted. Plus, doesn’t it sound interesting?

2. Poison the cranberry sauce.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like a little family feuding, and what better way to do this than with a little sabotage? No one will think to bring up the election results when they’re wondering which dish you’ve targeted this year, and let’s face it, no one would notice the difference in the cranberry sauce anyway.

3. Hold the potatoes hostage.

Now potatoes, on the other hand, are the true star of any Thanksgiving table. At the beginning of the meal, assert dominance by grabbing the entire dish and holding it tightly above your head. Warn your family that if anyone mentions politics, you’ll smash the potatoes on the floor. At dessert, try the same strategy with the apple pie to give your family a sweet surprise.

4. Speak only in Sanskrit. 

Yes, Sanskrit, the ancient and dead language. No one will be able to argue with you if they can’t understand what you’re saying, and if they bring up politics, you can just speak louder. Feel those verb conjugations. Let them fill the room. Sanskrit has no word for partisan fighting.

5. Release a ton of bees.

If all else fails, just release a whole bunch of bees into the room. They’re good for the environment, you know.


Denobis regrets that all strategies are undertaken at the reader’s own risk.

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