Four New Thanksgiving Traditions

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Can you feel it? The leaves have turned, Yale has been publicly humiliated, and it is once again inappropriate to solicit candy from your neighbors. That's right: it's Thanksgiving!

Lucky for you, Flyby's got your back with some new traditions to spice up your holiday.

The Turkey Shoot: The centerpiece of any Thanksgiving dinner, a sinewy bird can stoke the fires of family resentment like nothing else. Tenderizing is a must, but salt brines are too seafaring and mallets are straight up barbaric. Try channeling the ancient Greeks with a turkey shot putting competition. Simply wrap the fowl in a sturdy bag and take turns heaving it as far as possible. The victor is henceforth immune from all quizzing from extended family, including but not limited to: "When are you going to settle down with a nice girl?," "Did you just eat that entire pecan pie?," and "Your cousin Gary just got into med school, don’t you love your mother?"

Around the World in 80 Sways: Nothing says American Thanksgiving quite like an older family member having one drink too many and making some undiplomatic statements about other cultures. Instead of challenging your elders on such matters, make some bingo cards listing other ethnic groups and tick off as offended. It will only be a matter of time until you've got five in a row.

Note: it is good form to donate some of your winnings to an organization along the lines of the NAACP or Anti-Defamation League, as appropriate.

Bird of Pray: Many Thanksgiving dinners begin with a prayer that thanks a higher power for the many gifts and privileges we appreciate in life. But you're in college now and a godless heathen such as yourself (or "spiritual agnostic," whatever helps you sleep at night) has no time for such orthodoxy. Instead, throw a curveball by leading your family in a thoughtful reflection and then dedicate it to a less-appreciated deity. The Great Satan is a little obvious, Cthulhu the giant octopus antichrist a bit too nerdy. We suggest getting topical points by praising Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of motherhood.

Pardon Me: Since the beginning, Thanksgiving has been based on goodwill. From the Pilgrims sharing a meal with the Native Americans (before, um, letting them share the continent with us) to the President pardoning a turkey (before, um, overseeing an annual partial genocide of its species) revelers have always used the holiday as an opportunity break tensions and break bread. Get into the spirit of Thanksgiving and reach out to those with whom you haven’t always gotten along!

Have a pint with your old rival from the debate team. Watch some pigskin with your uncle who once said you threw a football like the bedridden grandmother from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Place a blanket over your napping neighbor who used to shoot at you with a BB gun. Please refrain, however, from infecting this blanket with smallpox.

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