Thanksgiving should be a stress-free day of giving thanks, spending quality time with the loved ones in your life, and let's face it, chowing down on meat and carbs until you collapse into a turkey-induced coma. However, this is often easier said than done, especially if your relatives tend to let their opinions flow as freely as the gravy. When sitting elbow to elbow at a crowded table, things have the potential to get pretty heated, pretty quickly.
In order to keep the hot heads from offending those with more delicate sensibilities, some refereeing might be in order. Or better yet, simply avoid certain topics altogether to ensure a peaceful holiday meal is enjoyed by all. We consulted with leading wedding and entertaining expert David Tutera about topics to avoid (and tweak) at the Thanksgiving table.
While it is impossible to predict anyone's specific reaction to a particular subject, in close quarters with family present, it is best to err on the side of caution. For example, if your cousin is fresh out of rehab, hold off on offering him a glass of merlot. Or if your aunt has some uncommon child-rearing techniques, it's probably best to skip any discussions on parenting.
In case things do get out of hand, have a few backup topics to quickly steer the discussion toward in a pinch. Think lighthearted talking points like the weather, who you think is slated to make it to the Super Bowl, and that you can't believe how big your young nephew has gotten. Also, a compliment to the chef goes a long way, and can turn everyone's focus back to the reason for the gathering.
So dig those pants with the super-stretch elastic waistband out of storage and bone up on your family-friendly dialogue, because Turkey Day is on the horizon. Click through to see what not to talk about during Thanksgiving dinner.