This week, many of us will gather together with our families around tables to break bread and eat turkey.
Roasting a turkey is a hassle and a mess. I’m not doing it. We’ll be eating lasagna at my house — and probably an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, too. The crowd will be small, which means plenty for everyone and cleanup will be a cinch.
But I have gone to the big family Thanksgiving dinners before and spent time with the relatives you only see once every couple of years.
When you only see people occasionally, it’s interesting to see how they change. Or maybe you just never really knew them at all.
Take the uncle or aunt who used to slip you quarters and rolls of hard candies when you were a kid. Now they could be a raging conspiracy nut, a ranting armchair political correspondent or maybe just someone who’s really into “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Who even knew that show was still on? I had to look it up on Wikipedia — 18 seasons, if you can believe that. It’s the kind of show where they don’t have to kill characters off. They die of old age.
Outside of getting through what will probably be a dry and bland bird, you have to make it through dinner conversation.
Inevitably, the talk will turn to what people really care about — how they can prove the earth is flat, why Jan. 6 was all just a funny misunderstanding, or why Izzie ought to come back for one more episode because we all need closure.
To head off inevitable hard feelings or possibly a fist fight when the conversation starts up, my best solution is to avoid the controversies of the day and just stick to the warm, happy past.
Nostalgia conquers all, even if you have to make some stuff up along the way.
When sharing tales from time gone by, a few well-placed falsehoods could make all the difference. For fun, drop in some discussion about an inheritance involving people not there to defend themselves and the whole day should take care of itself.
The important thing is to keep the holidays light.
If that fails, you can ask your aunt about what she think the Cowboys chances are to win the World Series. That should keep everybody busy until it’s time to go.
Best of luck. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.