Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year. USA Today estimates that 44 million people travel for this holiday. Usually I spend an average of 8 hours in the kitchen the day before and the day of preparing a meal for my hungry family that they eat in about 15 minutes. This year I decided to switch things up and get out of any sort of preparation or cleanup.
Everyone knows what their job is on Thanksgiving. There are only two options: a giver or a taker. We millennials tend to be one extreme or the other. Some can’t stop working and some can’t stop taking. Usually my mother and I cook and clean, but this year (lucky for me) my grandma came. So I seized my opportunity.
I am here to give some tips to those people who need a break from the intense preparation for this holiday. Here’s seven practical ways how you can evade work for Thanksgiving that I successfully implemented this year:
- Make a bracket of the football games and pretend like you have to watch your team win. Basically, get engrossed in a football game. No one wants to interrupt you when you’re into a game. If you aren’t typically into football, the bracket is a good thing to use as a reason as to why you’re suddenly into the game (That’s what I did).
- Go to the bathroom. The bathroom trick is the oldest trick in the book. I excuse myself with, “I have to go to the bathroom. Be back later.” Make sure you bring your iPhone or a good book to keep you in the bathroom a little longer than necessary.
My personal favorite bathroom distraction is Pinterest. Man or woman, the funny GIF’s on Pinterest can distract for hours (Make sure you always go back so that you get back “later”).
- If you’re a student, leaving some homework for break is perfect. No one can argue with you when you say, “I have to do homework.” What parents wouldn’t love the fact that their child is studious?
- Get riveted to a book. Make sure you choose a book in a series so that you can’t work until you finish it all.
- Ladies: have an emotional day. If your emotions are too crazy, you can get out of about anything using them as your excuse.
- Start a deep conversation with someone. No one ever interrupts those.
- Seniority rules. Give your job to the youngest in the family. I just bossed everyone around and split all my jobs between the two youngest boys. If you’re the youngest, you’re out of luck here.
This experiment I made was successful: I ended up getting out of all the work that I usually did, and even the work I enjoyed doing. But it ended sadly. I felt guilty and heart stricken. Although I was trying to be funny in evading every task and had fun with the creativity I was able to use, I came away with a sinking feeling. Maybe my workless Thanksgiving was worthless.
Thanksgiving isn’t simply expressed in words, but also in deed. Therefore, my lack of work helping my mom and grandma was the opposite of thankfulness. This experiment reminded me how important it is to work as a family on Thanksgiving. No one person should make the whole meal. No one person should clean up the mess. No one person should have to be alone. Thanksgiving is a time that we can stop our habit of trying to get out of work, and gladly work, remembering how blessed we are.
Work can sometimes be hard, but when you’re working with those you love in anticipation for something greater than yourself, then it’s truly rewarding. I’m sure that by Christmas my millennial workaholic ways will gain the upper hand because I know this for sure: This is the first and last Thanksgiving that I’ll ever try to weasel my way out of helping. (But feel free to use my tips if you need to discover the same thing by trial and error).