As I like to give back to the community after taking so, so very much, I figured it's time for some more holiday tips--what with Thanksgiving coming up in a few days! After all, what should normally be a day of mirth and togetherness often devolves into a fit of screeching, screeching and more screeching. But some of it can be avoided by following some basic rules:
1) Avoid driving during peak hours. Yes, even during a recession you'll find yourself in a traffic jam saying "I figured the recession would make everyone stay home". Remember when gas was $4 a gallon a few years ago? There were still bad jams! And you marvel at the fact that so many people chose to drive at a time when they knew the roads would be crowded, until you remembered that you're one of those people.
2) Have an aunt who's convinced that the president is a secret Muslim, or an uncle who is still ranting about George Bush? Avoid political arguments with a sure fire all-purpose response: "You have interesting opinions and I'm sure they'll make it into some academic journal before long. But if I hear one more word about something you heard on Glenn Beck/Rachel Maddow, I will do something with this turkey leg that you never thought physically possible."
3) If you're one of those kind families that invites a lonely homeless war veteran to your home for the Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you give him a full psychiatric evaluation before you let him near any carving knives. A flashback from the Battle of Khe San could turn a pleasant meal into a test to see if the male relatives are capable of restraining a knife-wielding berzerker.
4) If asked to say "grace" try and leave out any references to our Dark Lord and whether there are any virgins at the table.
5) Do not show up with a bunch of tupperware and say "can't stay long, but you can put my share in these".