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Onward State’s Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving

It’s that time of the year again, Happy Valley. Thanksgiving break! A time to head home with a full laundry basket and an empty wallet. A time to grub face with the people you love most. Yes, there are few things better heading home to a table full of stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and turkey (turducken if you’re feeling dirty). BUT before you dig in and embarrass yourself in front of your entire extended family, read up! I have some helpful hints to make sure your Thanksgiving is an absolute banger.

We recommend elastic-pants for today's festivities. While elastic khakis would certainly be classier, sweatpants can be both comfortable and show your Penn State pride.
We recommend elastic for today's festivities. While elastic khakis would certainly be classier, sweatpants can be both comfortable and show your Penn State pride.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Alright, this is a tricky one. It starts at 9 o’clock this year. Rough. I mean, you’re the kid thinking, “I didn’t schedule a class before 11:15, no way will I get up that early during break.” Our take: do it for you mom. Chances are, she and her family huddled around their 1972 television set (you know, the one with knobs to change the channel) every year to watch the parade. Keep tradition alive. It’ll make mom happy, and dad might even slip you $5.

Take a nap: Studies show that a nice nap speeds up your metabolism (ed. note: this is true!). Before you get all dressed up, bury yourself in covers and snooze. This way, come dinner time, your stomach will be ready to digest and dominate Aunt Betty’s pumpkin pie.

What do I wear? Elastic is your friend. If you’re at all like me, you’ve been living off of Ramen and Easy-Mac for the past several months. Here’s your chance to chow down on real food, guilt free. Sure you might look like a grizzly bear preparing for hibernation while you shovel down green beans and cranberry sauce, but you’ll be doing it in absolute comfort. The elastic allows for maximum stomach stuffage. Lots of places are selling fancy elastic-waist khakis now. Stock up, you can thank me later.

At the table? So here you are in front of the dinner table, equipped with elastic khakis (don’t worry, your grandpa is most likely rocking the same pair). You ask yourself, “Self, where should I sit?!” This is an easy one. Pick a seat between the best food (woo glazed ham!), and the biggest eater. Chances are, he’ll ask you to pass everything right away. Before handing the dish over, snag a few pieces of whatever’s on the plate. Within moments, you’ll have a stack of mashed potatoes that would give Everest a run for it’s money.

Post Dinner: After picking the turkey from your teeth, you spy a spot on the couch. Make a run for it. Forget the awkward after dinner conversations with your second cousin and the uncomfortable eye contact from your aunt’s lazy eye. Chances are, open seats in the living room won’t last long. Now is your chance to watch the *cough* exciting Giants/Broncos game. The game will most likely put you to sleep in minutes, and you’ll be on the fast track to your bed at home. If you can’t fall asleep, just fake it.

Trip Home: Our bodies work in weird ways. Take my advice when I suggest calling “shotgun” on the way home. There will be enough toxic gas in the car to knock out a small herd of elephants after a big Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re lucky enough to have scored the front seat, roll down your window down and keep all of the stank trapped in the back. If you don’t score the front seat, well, good luck.

So my friends, take notes. We all deserve this loooong break. Forget the textbooks, the library, and the 5 Hour Energy shots. Bring on the turkey, peas, and (hopefully spiked) apple cider. These tips will help you optimize your Turkey Day to the fullest. Enjoy the tryptophan, enjoy your family, but most importantly, enjoy your new elastic khakis, ya dig?

About the Author


More by Paul

Four Diamonds Video Explains Roots

The word THON has left the lips of nearly every single Penn State student at least once for the past 37 years. In the same vein, nearly every student and alumni have a general idea of what THON is all about. If you were to survey any one student still awake in a 100 Thomas lecture, he would probably respond with ” it’s the largest student-run philanthropy” or ‘”it’s FTK.” Both correct. But what if you were to ask how it got started, or what exactly the Four Diamonds represent–would they know?

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