Everyone knows that you’re supposed to be bursting with gratitude during the Thanksgiving break- but you have six cousins under the age of 11 and a living room filled with politically incorrect great-uncles. Fear not! Here are ten fun things to do on your Thanksgiving break to keep calm and remain thankful.
1. FOOTBALL. There’s probably no way to avoid watching football, but it’s a great way to yell crazily at the television and not be judged! Here’s the heads up on which games will be played on Thanksgiving day:
12:30 p.m. Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions (CBS)
4:15 p.m. Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
8:20 p.m. New England Patriots @ New York Jets (NFL Network)
2. Watch the parade. Only once a year can you see the Pillsbury Doughboy and Kermit the Frog floating harmoniously (hopefully) through New York City and hear the talent of some crazy marching bands, so take advantage of it! The parade is a great way to gather your family, find out which float everyone likes, argue about which artists are lip-syncing, and wonder why Santa comes to Thanksgiving every year.
3. Give the chef a break. Whoever the brave soul in your family is who cooks the Thanksgiving dinner deserves to put his/her feet up and enjoy the holiday as well. Offer to make dinner one night. If you choose the day after the big meal, you can even make a dinner of leftovers! Check out this websites for ideas of how to use the remnants of the feast to make your own meal and give the chef a reason to be thankful for feeding you!
4. See a movie! Why do you think so many new flicks come out around Thanksgiving? So you can get out of your house and put your crazy relatives in a place where it is socially unacceptable to talk. This year, you and your whole family (maybe not the smallest of children) can experience the Life of Pi. If you have younger relatives, take them to see Rise of the Guardians. What could kids love more than escaping to the movies? Only the treats you’ll give them while they watch.
5. Introduce small relatives to your backyard. There’s nothing better than some fresh air, especially after a crowded dining experience. Run around the yard, start up a friendly game of kickball. All a little cousin needs is a big cousin to chase- and then if you’re lucky, a nap.
6. Reconnect! Family is important, but when is it not grouped with friends? Take time to catch up with the friends that you haven’t seen since the summer. I don’t know about you, but my dad seems to think that beer pong is an awesome game and thinks my best friends are hilarious. If you’re not in this boat, go out and grab coffee with them and swap stories of your endless Halloweekend and maybe even your classes, but don’t go too crazy.
7. Nap! This may be a prime time to see your family, but it’s also the first real break you’ve had since the start of the semester. No one can blame you for needing an hour (or 3) to catch up on some much needed sleep in your own bed! Hopefully your relatives will absolve you of your babysitter/entertainer duties enough to get some sleep.
8. Who let the dogs out? You did- on purpose. Got some K-9 companions running around, trying to take the turkey right off the counter? Well, they might be suffering from some relative overload- not to mention the dogs that your human relatives brought with them. Take the dogs for a walk and get some fresh air. Exercise will make you feel refreshed and your dogs will love you more than they did when you snuck them a spoonful of mashed potatoes under the table. If you don’t have dogs, take the family with you. Exercise is the best remedy for sleepy-post-turkey-syndrome.
9. Rearrange your living room so it’s Christmas Tree Friendly! Personally, I’m not a fan of jumping full force into Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, but it couldn’t hurt to at least prep right? If you’re lucky, this rearrangement will give your living room enough extra space for your whole family to sit and talk about safe topics like the election or the economy.
10. Brave Black Friday. Disclaimer: do not involve your small relatives in this activity unless you have a very short leash or an abnormally impressive ability to give piggyback rides- otherwise they will get lost, put on sale, or even plundered by another family.