Glenn’s Guide #1: Surviving the Holidays – Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Good morning, gentlemen.
Welcome to this, the first installment of Glenn’s Guide.  As the Casual Gentleman with the most knowledge about the world and its ways, it has fallen on my shoulders to present all of you with a sextant and star chart to help you navigate the rocky waters of life.

Today I’m going to give you some handy tips on how a Casual Gentleman can successfully survive the minefield that has come to be known as “The Holiday Season”.  In the first installment, we tackle Thanksgiving and its insane child “Black Friday”.
Hit the jump for your Thanksgiving survival tips.

1.  Sleep late.

This will accomplish two things.  First, it lets you get away with not eating breakfast.  Second, by the time you’re showered and dressed and ready for the day, it’s almost dinner time.

2. Build a fire.

"I have made fire!" -Tom Hanks

This can be your all day escape plan.

You can easily stretch this out into an all-day affair.  If anyone starts getting a little too interested in your life, you can always leave the room with “Excuse me, I need to go check on the fire”.  You also get credit for helping to make the day a success, just make sure people know you made the fire.

3.  Watch as much football as possible.

This.

You can eliminate a lot of uncomfortable interactions by posting up in front of the TV and watching football.

Even if you don’t care about football.  The great thing about Thanksgiving that other holidays simply don’t offer is the requirement to watch hours of television as a part of holiday tradition.  Sure, Christmas has the standard movie fare, but you can watch those anytime.  Football, you can explain to the aunt who wants to jabber on about why you aren’t married yet, is something you have to watch when its on.  Watching the games will kill a lot of time during the day, but if you watch all the pre-game coverage, that  will allow you more freedom to…

4.  Talk about football with your male relatives

Face it.  After vaguely describing your current apartment and your current job and your current girlfriend in as little detail as possible, you have nothing to say to these people.  Football is a topic you can discuss without fear of talking about anything real.  Bring it up early “Hey, did you see that Monday Night game?” and often “You think Arizona will figure out their QB situation?”

5.  Offer to do something easy.  Like drying dishes or sweeping the kitchen.

This is easy.

If you help clean up, even in some small way, nobody will get mad at you.  Just making the offer to help is enough to coat you in a layer of yell-proof kevlar thick enough to deflect even the most stressed out matriarch.

6.  Find one person to make fun of everyone else with.

It can be a cousin, a niece, an uncle, even an in-law.  Find someone who is ironically detached from the festivities, and crack jokes at the expense of others quietly in the corner.  Don’t feel bad about making fun of your family.  They’re making fun of you right now.

7.  Be appreciative of each dish, even if it’s terrible.

Don’t be a dick.  Just eat it and say it’s great.

8.  Start an argument.

But don’t be involved in it.  This is the tricky part.  In my family, bring up local politics, labor unions, or where you can find the best produce.  This will cause every family member that you have over the age of 60 to immediately and loudly argue about what this hot-button topic means to them for the next 20 minutes.  Congratulations, my friend.  You just bought yourself enough time to get a drink.

9.  Get drunk early.

Have a couple of beers before the meal, then switch to hard liquor when the turkey comes out.  Just remember to keep your mouth shut.  Causing a drunk scene at Thanksgiving will never be forgotten by anyone.  Ever.  Just drink your drinks and take a nap.  Bonus points if you can manage to fall asleep in a chair during the football game.

10.  Avoid Black Friday entirely.  Just hide somewhere until it’s over.

You don’t want none of this.

Do your gift shopping on the Saturday before Christmas like a real man.
That does it for the first edition of Glenn’s Guide.  Please share your holiday stories and your own Thanksgiving survival tips in the comments below.  Happy Turkeying!

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