What you are grateful for contributes to your happiness. What you take for granted, doesn’t. I’m grateful for my family, and for still having access to plenty of food. I don’t take that for granted, because I know that food supplies are getting tight worldwide.
To me, Thanksgiving is a typical religious harvest-festival. It’s related to Erntedankfest in some German lands. It’s also a similar concept to Diwali in India, celebrating and giving thanks for the rice harvest. Personally, I resist turning it into a secularized, commercialized celebration of gluttony.
What’s for dinner at Kalkin’s house? A typical Thanksgiving dinner at my house involves traditional crops from the New World, such as cranberries, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, wild rice, corn, and beans, but in varied forms, not quite traditional but not too exotic either. Cranberry pie or tarts. Corn or cranberry tea-bread. Pumpkin or sweet-potato stuffed pastries. Stuffed pumpkins. Mixed-grain pilafs with plenty of wild-rice. It would be very typical for me that a pie or pastry be the savory main course instead of dessert. This year it’s pumpkin-spice birthday cake for my wife. Compared to most families, we eat a much lighter meal, in fact not significantly heavier than on any other day, though perhaps a little richer. Compared to most Americans, we eat a much higher volume of vegetables, around 3 times or so as much. Home-made desserts are only slightly sweet, for both aesthetic reasons and so as not to spike our insulin levels. For the same reason I do not add sugar or marshmallows to sweet-potatoes; aren’t they already sweet enough?! This year the sweet potatoes have PURPLE flesh; those used to be more common and are still common in some countries but got rare in the USA. I like the orange ones too, preferably deep orange.
One of my buddies who hunts plans his annual “meat-induced coma”. At his house, the main course is usually venison. He likes to talk to his kids about family solidarity.
The America-hating, God-hating controlled media, political class, and several politically-activist organizations have published a number of articles about how to promote their political agendas around the Thanksgiving dinner table. Several have even openly encouraged picking fights! I’m also seeing numerous claims that Thanksgiving is “racist”, implying that it shouldn’t be celebrated at all, as part of the neoMarxist cultural cleansing of America.
I have a better idea: preserve family integrity and focus on spending good times with people you love. Be a good host or a good guest; be the man who causes everyone’s face to light up when he enters the room, because they know they’re going to have a good time.
But here are some tips just in case some approval-seeking family members drink the kool-aid:
- Expressing disagreement often backfires. Instead of discouraging someone from advocating bad ideas, it actually reinforced the behavior! It actually gives them a little jolt of dopamine—a neurochemical reward. “I was a good boy or girl and deserve a pat on the head for political advocacy!”
- It especially backfires if they consider you low status, or they secretly don’t like you anyway. It’s the same reason bullies feel good by hurting low-status people.
- They seek the approval of high-status people, astonishingly even if the high-status person is nowhere in sight and has no idea what they’ve done. It’s like Pavlov’s dogs salivating with no food in sight; a completely conditioned response that has nothing to do with anything relevant to the event.
- Instead of expressing disagreement, react as little as possible.
- By all means, avoid getting upset! Instead of taking it as a challenge, think of the other person as being a little crazy, and you’re trying to help control the craziness.
- Bear in mind that it was the haters that put them up to this. They’re not usually creative enough to think this stuff up on their own. They’re looking for approval and validation. Don’t hold it against them that they are all-too-human.
- Say as little as possible in response. Ideally, look back intently like you’re really paying strong attention, and waiting for them to say something more, as if you’re waiting for them to get to the point. This might seem counterintuitive. Aren’t you hoping they’ll shut up? Well, they will feel increasingly awkward and frustrated if you keep waiting for more without giving them any feedback to encourage them.
- Give as little verbal feedback as possible, neither positive nor negative. “Oh. I see. Really? Is that so?”
- DON’T tell them what you are thinking, even if they ask. Stay quiet! Oddly enough, let them do all the talking. Trust me. This is a trick used in high-stakes negotiations when one side is weak.
- Turn it into a game. Have fun with it. See if you can get them to keep talking until they get flustered.
- Once you’ve exhausted them, change the subject.
- Once the topic is something else, give positive feedback for anything you agree with. “You’re right! Good point! I agree!”
There are some tricks I could teach you above and beyond this one, but they would take a lot more time to explain. KISMIF (keep it simple, make it fun).
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, fill it with love and family solidarity, and may your travels be safe and comfortable.