Here are a few facts about Thanksgiving and advice on surviving political and other uncomfortable discussions with relatives.
- About 51 million Americans will travel over 50 miles to Thanksgiving celebrations this year, 89% of whom will drive.
- The busiest day of the year for plumbing and drain companies is the day after Thanksgiving. Why? According to Roto-Rooter, “big meal preparation and kitchen cleanup create the ‘perfect storm’ for plumbers who stay busy unclogging kitchen sinks, garbage disposal and toilets.”
- Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving too. But on the second Monday in October.
- Americans consume about 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving.
- The average size of a turkey has doubled over the past century as farmers have bred them for size and speed of growth. The average turkey weighed about 13 pounds in the 1920s but the average bird now tops the scales at around 30 pounds! Male turkeys have grown so heavy that they can no longer mate with hens. For this and other reasons most turkey’s are now bred through artificial insemination.
- Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863 and was declared as such by Abraham Lincoln. In 1941, Congress officially made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Of course, the custom of celebrating Thanksgiving dates back to the 17th century.
- Of course, nothing is easy in America. The 19th-century campaign to make Thanksgiving a permanent holiday was seen by prominent Southerners as a culture war. They considered it a Northern holiday intended to force New England values on the rest of the country. To them, pumpkin pie, a Yankee food, was a deviously sweet symbol of anti-slavery sentiment. A southern newspaper editorial in 1856 argued that Thanksgiving did “nothing but rob men of a day’s wages and encourage drunkenness.”
- A tip from hostage negotiator George Kohlrieser for surviving uncomfortable political conversations with family members on the opposite side of the political spectrum: “Be curious.” Kohlrieser says that trying to persuade people with facts and your (rational) viewpoint does not work. Arguing with someone almost never changes their mind. Avoid arguing and instead question and engage in dialog. Seek to understand why they view the topic/issue as they do. Through questioning you’ll likely find common ground.
I’ll just play EMIMNEM’s new song on Trump on the livingroom stereo right after prayer when its quiet.
YEAHH!!! come get some-O-that dialog! …. JK:)
Expect a lot of questions today then John!