The holidays are known as one of the few times of the year where people reunite with their family and give thanks. While this may sound like a pleasurable and peaceful experience, there is almost always bound to be an argument or dispute amongst family members. According to The Harris Poll, over half of all households admit to starting heated arguments over politics, making politics the most heavily debated topic on Thanksgiving. With this year’s election results, however, this percentage is likely to skyrocket (assuming people are seeing their family this year). Even so, there are many other factors about Thanksgiving that can likely lead to a fight, many of which are quite dumb. Here are some that we came up with:
“What Are You Thankful For?”: The table has been set and prayers have been said. Our stomachs are growling and our mouth is watering, ready to grab that first helping of turkey and mashed potatoes. When all of a sudden, Uncle Johnny asks everyone the question: “Before you eat, what are you thankful for? Let’s go around the table.” The pressure’s on, especially to those who are introverts. Between the risk of being embarrassed in front of your family and your desire to chow down, your blood pressure has increased as well. “I’m thankful for my family because….”, you say, trying to find the right words to express your reasoning. No matter what you say, however, one of your family members will always try to “critique” your idea which further bothers you and in turn, leads to a dispute. That’s correct, trying to give thanks leads to an argument. And then you have that one family member who takes what feels like forever saying “Let me think for a minute.” He/she goes through an entire list of things they are thankful for, all while the food is getting cold. Giving thanks on Thanksgiving is meaningful and everything, but can’t we wait until after dinner to express our gratitude? We have been looking forward all day to this meal, and we want to thoroughly enjoy it, free of arguments. That’s all.
Sitting at the Kids Table: First of all, if Thanksgiving is a holiday about being together as a family, why are the kids separated from the adults? Perhaps because the adults themselves know they are bound to get into a fight and don’t want the kids to be involved. While the adult table is yapping away about politics and their lives, the kids are staring at their phones playing Among Us or texting their friends. There is almost no discussion at the kids table, except the occasional mention of “TikTok”. Then there are always that one cousin who they consider to be “too old” for the kids table. They demand and argue to sit with the adults, knowing that their younger cousins will tease him/her about being “too old” and “out of touch.” While sometimes, the adults will allow the adolescent to sit with them, other times, they are told to try to talk with the kids, deeming them “too young for the adult table.” These are our family members and they should be treated as such. Everybody should sit around the table as a family, having family friendly discussions. Being together is what Thanksgiving is all about, not limiting family members to specific tables. Moreover, if adults are fighting over dumb topics, wouldn’t they be the kids in the end?
Who’s Doing Dishes: One of the most frustrating parts about Thanksgiving dinner is cleaning up. Having to clean 4 or 5 dishes can be tedious enough in a typical household. However, cleaning 30 or even 40 dishes for the whole family is simply overwhelming. Adults don’t want to make themselves look bad in front of their parents, so they say, “Here Mom, let me help you out with these dishes.” To which their mother or father replies, “No, it’s okay. Go sit and watch football, we’re okay here.” The adults continue to insist cleaning the dishes to the point where each adult is yelling at each other, “DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, ITS OKAY!” Here’s an idea: why not clean the dishes together? One person can wash the dishes, another can dry the dishes, and another can put them away. Or here’s another idea: Have each adult clean their own plate, and there will be no dishes to fight about. Now that wasn’t so difficult, was it?
Getting a Tattoo: Your 35 year old cousin has just walked in the house with his fiancée. He is all dressed up and ready to sink his teeth into the turkey and stuffing. Still, there is one thing you haven’t noticed: He has a tattoo. His mother walks into the room, sees the tattoo, and chaos breaks loose. There she is, screaming at her son as if he were 5 years old. Keep in mind that at age 35, your cousin has a job, pays his own bills, and is about to get married. Yet his mother is arguing with him, demanding he get the tattoo removed. It doesn’t help that the other family members, some of which are likely bums themselves, are sitting in their underwear, snickering in the background. Jeez Mom, the man is an adult. Let him make his own decisions about how he wants to look.
TV Specials: Now that Thanksgiving dinner is over and the tryptophan from the turkey has made you drowsy, you’re ready to sit on the couch and watch some football. However, as your family also finishes their dinner, they too are ready to watch some TV-but perhaps they are not in the mood for football. Here comes Aunt Gertrude announcing everyone to come inside to watch Charlie Brown. “But I want to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade”, says another family member even though the parade was just on this morning. “Hey look, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ is On”, says another family member, completely interrupting the football game. There is only one TV and your family is now fighting over the remote, while you’re ready for a nap. If you want to watch your holiday specials so bad, just watch it on Netflix. Also, Apple TV is offering the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special for free this year. Problem solved; who even needs a TV anymore in today’s society?
Black Friday and Christmas: For some people, Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the Christmas season. As soon as that last bite of pumpkin pie has been eaten, its time to start preparing for Christmas. Thanks to capitalism, the “Christmas madness” begins with the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday. Between the crowds of people shopping on Black Friday and preparing for Christmas (buying a tree, Christmas cards, getting hung over from too much wine, etc.), adults are complaining to their relatives about these struggles. Again, Thanksgiving is meant to be a peaceful day of the year where people can conduct their holiday traditions with their families and reunite with each other. People should take their lives one day at a time and thoroughly enjoy the Thanksgiving season. Remember, tomorrow is not promised.
Politics may be the most heavily debated topic at Thanksgiving, but there are many other topics that could lead to a dispute and could easily be avoided. Maybe we are thankful, after all, for having an excuse to not see our family this year. While our family means the world to us, there is only so much we can take. Here’s to a peaceful Thanksgiving in 2020 (and to a much better year ahead).