A Thanksgiving Day Emergency: What to pack in your dysfunctional holiday survival kit


In just a few short hours, we will all be sitting down for one of the most anticipated meals of the year. For some of you, Thanksgiving Day is a lovely holiday spent with your extended family laughing, loving and catching up on old times. You may disregard this post. For the remainder of you,  it makes for a long day of emotional endurance and torturous family time/drama.

Something about this time of year somehow brings out the crazy in just about everybody. Add a bit of alcohol, awkward conversation, and close quarters and voila, we have the makings of another Grioswold-like Thanksgiving. And because we cannot transform our family members into “The Cleavers,” I have decided that when the going gets tough and the family gets out of control, it may just be time to join in on the crazy!! When I say join in, I simply mean learn to actually take it all in, swallow your pride and hurt feelings, and laugh (at them).

In the spirit of giving, I am going to share what I have learned while enduring my own brand of holiday-induced family craziness.  I am grateful for the invention of all of the following items, and you too can use them to help you endure/enjoy the pain/bonding time.  Just tap into one when you are on the brink of breaking into a familial rage.

The Thanksgiving Day Family Survival Kit:

  1. The Largest Bottle of Whiskey/Wine/Alcoholic Beverage of Choice– As a rule of thumb  I never attend any family gathering without packing a cooler full of alcohol. If you must tolerate these imposters that call themselves family, then drinking through it may be the best option. Keep in mind, there are a slew of drinking games that can be created from this one option. Chug your beer every time Uncle Eddie passes gas, someone loses the coveted recliner or the word “Pilgrim” is used. You get the idea.
  2. Xanax-To help you cope with the anxiety of the fifty inappropriate questions Aunt Mildred will ask you about your sex life, period, reproductive organs, marriage, divorce, new date/significant other, etc.
  3. Dysfunctional Family Bingo– If you cannot beat ’em, join ’em and at least be entertained in the process. Engage in Thanksgiving Bingo. As a reminder, if you choose to play, you are doing so at your own risk. Remember game playing may spark old war scars from when you never let Cousin Sally win a game of Candyland when you both were 5.
  4. Index Cards– These may come in handy to draw pictures of the first relative to fall asleep or maybe even serve as  flash cards to save your spouse when he/she can’t remember Aunt Wynoka’s name ” Y – NO -kuh.”
  5. Mobile Devices and Accompanying Chargers– This may be the only time I would say this is permissable, but it may come in handy to disengage when the brawl breaks out over whose dessert is better,  Aunt Mildred’s Pumpkin Pie or Grammy’s Sweet Potato Pie. It may also come in handy to make those emergency phone calls/texts to let off some steam after the 4th time Aunt Sue asks you about the extra pounds you have packed on or you may even get some excitement out of taking blackmail photos/videos when one of the drunkards gets out of line. (This comes with a triple dog dare to post said Blackmail pictures/videos to Facebook, Instagram, Vine or even Youtube.)
  6. A Neutral Party Guest/Savior– Bringing this individual (or at least having him/her on stand-by to save you) could help entertain you while serving a dual purpose other than saving your ass. He/She will hopefully make the other members of your family be on their best behavior in front of your “guest.”
  7. Ibuprofen– To remedy the headache that will ensue, whether from too much anxiety, exhaustion, loud-mouthed relatives or booze. This may be the most critical part of the Survival Kit.
  8. A Good Appetite– When all else fails, just eat. Focus your attention on the bounty before you. Surely, one of two things will happen: a) you will be saved from saying what you shouldn’t  because you have food in your mouth , or b) you will be in a food coma and will sleep right through the drama.


I am sure you will be thanking me later for these ideas to get you prepped and ready to take on whatever may come your way this Thanksgiving. You are very welcome. Happy Freaking Turkey Day and may the force be with you!


AIBC Team Member


One response to “A Thanksgiving Day Emergency: What to pack in your dysfunctional holiday survival kit

  1. Oh my – I love the idea of a dysfunctional family drinking game. Hahah!

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