Scenes from a typical Thanksgiving at my house: the dog drinking out of the brine bucket, a biohazard sign passive-aggressively taped to the oven door, stalwart refusal to truffle anything even though someone generously brought along a decent truffle and shaver, outspoken hatred against “Big Turkey,” which I believe has to do with meat processing but can’t be sure and, of course, “sneaky-esque” teenagers who don’t yet know that grain alcohol can be smelled on one’s breath.

The easy way to do it would be “take a shot every time someone says ‘turkey’” or “take a shot every time someone says ‘gravy.’” But, like the holiday itself, we decided to take a good thing and make it more challenging. By the time it’s your turn to proclaim what you’re thankful for, you should have a good, long speech in there somewhere. 

Take a sip every time:

  • A woman who is older than you tells you to get out of the kitchen
  • Someone opens the oven door with no intention of basting, letting out valuable heat and contributing to the turkey’s dryness
  • Someone mentions the turkey’s dryness
  • Someone blames the turkey’s dryness on someone else
  • The turkey complains of dryness (this should happen eventually, depending on how frequently the affliction is mentioned by others)
  • Someone asks about your significant other, who was two or more significant others ago
  • You see a relative passed out on a couch
  • A pet successfully scavenges on the floor by the kitchen counter
  • Someone impersonates a Food Network chef*

*For Paula Deen impressions, take two sips with one additional sip for each “butter,” “ham,” and “y’all.”

Take two sips:

  • Every time you have to explain social media to a relative
  • If someone audibly snores on the couch
  • For every vegetarian or vegan present
  • For every additional dietary restriction present
  • For every “holidate” present (that’s when someone combines a holiday and a date to score points with whomever they think that would score points with)
  • With teenaged guests sneaking booze/smoking cigarettes or pot “out back”
  • Every time someone mentions Black Friday

Finish your drink:

  • At the first dramatic problem brought to everyone’s attention
  • If someone mentions the plight of the Native Americans at the white man’s hands 
  • If the ensuing awkward silence lasts more than 5 seconds

And of course, every family being different, feel free to add your own rules in there. Any suggestions?