Today, you should… make the best of Turkey Day despite the inevitable mishaps


It’s Thanksgiving: A day to ignore your caloric intake and spend time with the people who matter to you, be it family or friends or both. Thing is, as much as you’d like to just kick back, that’s probably not what’s going to happen. As the unforgiving reality of Murphy’s Law descends, here’s some advice to help you roll with the inevitable turkey day punches in the hopes that you can try and relax and have a splendid time.

Maybe you’ve noticed, but it’s pouring (you can thank the Gulf of Alaska for that gift). Hopefully you don’t, but if you’ve still got some family to swoop up from the airport—or travel to—you might be dreading the drive. We get it. Pull up your favorite Spotify playlist, crank those tunes nice and loud and sing (or scream) your heart out as you creep along the freeway. Or—shameless plug a comin’—if you’re more of a podcast person and finally have the time to catch up on all the greatness that is the Hi-lo’s “Can You Hear Me, Long Beach?” and “Suppertime in the LBC” click the links below and listen in and try not to swerve out of your lane at the sound of Steve Lowery’s high-pitched intonations.

Conversely, perhaps the family you only see once a year for the occasion (and prefer to keep it that way) just rang to tell you their flight has been cancelled due to the storm. You sigh a sweet sigh of relief and try to muffle your happiness as you voice your “regrets” over the phone (thank you, Alaska?).

It’s T-minus two hours until feast o’clock and you didn’t delegate enough of the cooking responsibility. The potatoes still need to be mashed, the turkey should have been in the oven over an hour ago and you can’t find the marshmallows for the candied yams ANYWHERE. Suddenly your eyes are watering, oh no wait, that’s just from the onions you’re chopping. Take a second. Breathe. Pop open that bottle of Cabernet you were waiting to uncork at dinner and pour yourself a tall glass. Sip, and repeat internally: “Denny’s is open 24/7.”

It’s not just Thanksgiving dinner, but a public relations exercise as you channel your inner communications prowess as you try and skirt, divert or flat out discourage unsavory dinner conversation with your politically polarized kin. When the tension starts running too high, we suggest a bit of the distract-and-flatter technique. Completely change the subject, then flatter said offender with a dashing compliment; food, appearance, whatever you can come up with. If nothing else, there’s always the run-to-your-room-and-yell-into-your-pillow method. Make sure to shut the door behind you, though.

Perhaps you’re a bit of an over achiever. You planned weeks in advance, made all the lists and mentally patted yourself on the back as you satisfyingly crossed off every item on your agenda. You did it. Or at least, you thought you had, until you pulled the turkey looking three shades darker than it’s supposed to be out of the oven. In these moments looking on the bright side is essential. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Sure, your main course is a little crispier than you might have hoped. But at least you didn’t burn the house down.

Another great thing: Alone on Thanksgiving? Superb, no one to interrupt your me-time. Keep those pajamas on. Fire up Netflix, or Hulu, or Disney+ and binge.

Giving us a moment’s pause: If you have pumpkin pie but forgot the whipped cream, you have a real disaster on your hands.

  • Get the “Do This!” email

    The “Today You Should” newsletter is now “Do This!” Subscribe and we’ll let you know whenever there’s something great to do in or around Long Beach.

    Add the “Do This!” calendar

    Subscribe through Google Calendar or your calendar app and get alerted to the best things to do in or around Long Beach.
    This feature is experimental. Let us know how it’s working.

  • Google Calendar (online)
  • Calendar App (desktop/mobile)

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Cheantay Jensen is an editorial intern who covers art and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post.