Put your sandwiches down, and let's get back to me. When you're a hearty puree of Eastern Cherokee, Welsh Aussie, and Hessian mercenary, the Pilgrims aren't too big a deal. My family celebrates the holiday by ignoring one another from our opposite coasts and multiple nations...except for the occasional inappropriate text message exchange.
Me: Happy Thanksgiving. Now go celebrate the annihilation of our ancestors!
Skye: Nothing says yay genocide like turkey!
From there, I usually either get drunk and play Grand Theft Auto, or I get adopted for the day. I can't remember the last time I spent Thanksgiving with a blood relative.
Over the years, I've become something of an expert at spending holidays with other people's families. Here's the summation of all my wisdom. I like to call it the Etiquette Guide for the Modern Holiday Mooch:
DO: Bring booze. I usually bring a bottle of wine, and maybe a specialty beer like Chimay. If your hosts are vehement nondrinkers, bring a generously-sized, yet discreet, flask. You know, just in case things get gnarly and you're reduced to hiding under a table and taking a few nips while you play with the dog's favorite bouncy-ball.
DON'T: Wear boots if there's any chance your hosts will ask you to remove your shoes at the door. It is impossible to look dignified while simultaneously shaking hands, avoiding the hyperactive dog, and shimmying your way out of a pair of three-inch knee-high boots. However, if you face-plant, most people are nice enough to find it endearing.
DO: Bring a gift for the hostess. A batch of fudge in a festive drugstore tin is easy and cheap (10-oz bag Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips, can of sweetened condensed milk, melted together in a saucepan over low heat, stir in a tablespoon of vanilla, pour it all into a 9 by 9 pan, chill overnight, chop it up, and you're done).
DON'T: Get visibly drunk. You want to spend the day with a faint glow, not a full-on radioactive liver. Pacing, my dear, pacing!
DO: Offer to help. Bonus points: Time your offers so cleverly that you, oops, never quite get that chance to help.
DON'T: Mediate family disputes, even when asked. ESPECIALLY not when asked. As the referee in more than one onion riot, I can vouch that there are no winners. There are only people with onion bits in their nostrils.
DO: Try a taste of everything, even if it's not necessarily what you'd normally eat. No one likes a picky eater. However, if you have allergies, discreetly ask the cook if any of your Dreaded Ingredients are there - if they are, good-naturedly eat something else.
DON'T: Play fetch with a toddler. Apparently, this insults their innate personhood. (Children aren't people, but I digress.)
DO: Find and befriend the Drunk Uncle. This person may actually be a Mormon teetotaler fourth cousin, but he'll still be the guy who finds everything amusing and wants a heckling buddy for the day.
DON'T: Engage in political or religious debates, even when pressed. Aside from being tacky to discuss either at the dinner table, it's bad for the digestion.
DO: Take off a whole bunch of time off from blogging and expect your readers to squeal like Japanese schoolgirls upon your return. I'm back, bitches.