How to be 50: How to Host Thanksgiving

By Charlotte Latvala

If you roast a turkey, 2015 law dictates you must immediately share the bounty on social media.

If you successfully roast a turkey, a new 2015 law dictates you must immediately share your accomplishment on social media.

Now that you’re deep into middle age, the holidays have changed. It’s more likely that you’ll be hosting the shindig this year, rather than traipsing over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house with two cans of cranberry sauce in your purse and a grudge in your heart.

Of course, there’s no shortage of know-it-alls to consult for tips. We suggest the How to be 50 way instead. That is:

  • Invite only family members who have a history of bad blood. Passive-aggressive barbs will distract from any sub-standard food.
  • Create a sense of holiday mirth by requesting each guest bring the same food item. Watch with delight as, one by one, they realize the entire meal consists of Pillsbury crescent rolls.
Everyone giggle at once.

Everyone giggle at once.

  • Or, pare down the guest list by offering “frozen pizza du jour” as the main course. If anyone questions your holiday choice, announce that you have a moral issue with celebrating the white European patriarchy responsible for Stove Top stuffing.
  • Be clear that offers of cash are always welcome. In fact, put a basket in the entryway with a sign that says “Tips Appreciated” and a smiley face. Threaten to host Thanksgiving Pledge Week next year if “guests like you” don’t contribute.
No contribution is too big.

No contribution is too big.

  • To further jeopardize your chances of hosting again, allow your cat to dance all over the counter while you’re assembling the green bean casserole, pretending you don’t notice the shower of hair descending on the cream of mushroom soup.
Confound your guests by making it clear that your cat is king.

Confound your guests by making it clear that your cat is king.

  • If anyone so much as hints at complaining, accuse them of “host-shaming” and post an angry diatribe on your blog.
  • When it’s your turn to offer up what you’re thankful for, say (with a tiny catch in your throat) that you’re grateful so many relatives generously offered to put up your Christmas decorations after dinner. It was wonderfully sweet of everyone! What a lovely way to repay you for dinner! Everyone grab a box of lights and a ladder!
Don't worry, little nutcracker man -- you're next!

Don’t worry, little nutcracker man — you’re next!

  • Come up with some fun after-dinner games. “Who can draw Uncle Conspiracy Theory into a political argument first?” and “How many glasses of Pinot Grigio will it take for Aunt Crazy to start singing her favorite Backstreet Boys songs?” are grown-up favorites, but “Let’s ID the hair in the crescent roll!” works for any age.
  • To clear the house out in a hurry, flip a breaker and loudly announce, “Oh darn, we can’t watch the Big Game!” No one will suspect foul play, because honestly, aren’t you a little old for such pranks?
Football socks please everyone; the game, not so much.

Football socks please everyone; the game, not so much.

 

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10 Comments

Filed under families, humor, middle-aged, Thanksgiving

10 responses to “How to be 50: How to Host Thanksgiving

  1. Actual lol, not the “I’m mildly amused but I’m going to type lol because I’m too lazy to express my amusement because it takes more letters” lol.

  2. We don’t do Thanksgiving, obviously (for the sake of clarity, I’m English), and that seems like a really good thing.

    • Charlotte Latvala

      Thanksgiving is a peculiar and peculiarly American holiday, I think. (Although the Canadians have their version, too.)

  3. Once the guests are at the table awaiting turkey, announce that you are now a vegan and will be serving tofurkey instead.

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