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Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide

Dig into our guide for surviving Turkey Day

By Greg Janda
|  Thursday, Nov 21, 2013  |  Updated 2:03 PM CDT
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Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide

It's time to get on board the gravy train and ride it to Turkey Day nap-time heaven.

But if your Thanksgiving plans seem like you'll be giving more thanks when they're over, here's our tips for surviving the holiday.

DRESS THE PART:
You don't need to wear your tux, but this might be one of the only two times this year Aunt Agnes gets to see you, so you should at least be dressed nice enough for a 70-year-old woman to think you look "spiffy." Of course, if the only dress clothes you own were before you rounded out your midsection, go with what's most comfortable -- after all, it's a day about eating.

PLAN FOR A SHORTAGE:
Not enough cranberry sauce? Too little turkey? A distinct lack of toilet paper? It's more likely than you think, especially if more folks turn up for your feast than you estimated. Plan ahead to have a little extra of everything -- that'll also help you avoid the ridiculous lines and understocked shelves at grocery stores on the gobbling day itself.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY:
Remember last year, when you got into a heated discussion with your ultra-liberal uncle about the value of fiscal conservatism? Hint: Don't bring up elections if you want to make it through dinner without a wishbone up your nose. This goes for any issue you might have dealt with in years past; overindulgence in alcohol, supported the Saints, ate off someone else's plate, broke Grandma's hip in the family game of football... etc. Avoid the pitfalls, and you'll have a much better time.

HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN:
Getting up for seconds during the feast may be easy, but leaving the event all together could turn out to be much more difficult. Prepare yourself (and the other guests) by having an escape plan to get away from the festivities -- even if you don't have to use it. Schedule something else later on Turkey Day for an easy way to transition from family to friend celebrations, or just let your other dependents be your ticket out -- your dog needs walking, after all.

TRAVEL LIKE A PRO:
If you're traveling this Thanksgiving, we're sorry. No matter what you do, it's very possible at some time during your trek for turkey, you'll get frustrated, delayed and wonder why you're even making the effort. To avoid the big headaches, though, stay in a relaxed mindset and only focus on what you can control -- you can't make your flight arrive on time, but you can delay a security check by not packing your bags correctly or knowing what's not allowed on a plane. Take a few extra minutes to review security procedures, get some travel tips or just write down everything you'll think you need a few days before packing needs to start -- that way you're not rushing to stuff your bags the day before.

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