This week, Alabama families will gather around tables throughout the state to give thanks and enjoy time with each other. Dry turkey will be gobbled up and Wild Turkey will be nipped upon. Bellies will be full and football will be watched.

At least that is how it is supposed to go down. But considering all of the events that have happened over the last couple of weeks, the conditions are favorable for a family feud of epic proportions. With your great Aunt Edna getting on up there, you don’t want her to experience such ugliness. This may be her last year, for heaven’s sake. In an effort to combat this, I’ve put together a Thanksgiving survival guide with various tips so you and your family can get through this year’s feast without killing each other or canceling Christmas.

“Premedicate.”
It’s amazing just how much more interesting stories about hip and knee replacements, gluten intolerance, battles with diverticulitis and cousin Earl’s latest divorce (what is this, number five?) if you have a few glasses of wine BEFORE you arrive at Granny’s house. I mean, how do you think Granny has made it through this all of these years? Be careful not to overdo it, though, as you don’t want to start giggling in the midst of one of these stories. Diverticulitis is a funny word to say — especially the way Aunt Edna says it — but it is no laughing matter, young lady.

Don’t go overboard with the Iron Bowl smack talking.
So you are a family divided. You can do jokes about the other team’s fans marrying their cousins, but since you are cousins that’s probably not going to make much sense in this context.

Auburn side of the family, don’t repeatedly say “Hey, got a second?” or bring up the unfortunate Harvey Updyke situation, as that will not go over well with your Bammer cousins. Sure, their fans probably could win the redneckiest contest (have you seen Aunt Edna?), but you guys still put toilet paper in trees after a big win, so … yeah. Remember, as the rest of the world can tell us, we are Alabamians, therefore we are ALL rednecks.

Bama side, don’t call your Auburn family boogers, booger eaters or simply “boogs.” Aside from LSU fans smelling like corn dogs, this is the silliest and most childish of the smack talk in the SEC. Instead, focus on something that brings us all together: just how annoying Gary Danielson is. Everyone thought Verne was the problem but hasn’t know-it-all Gary always been worse? Please discuss.

The Alabama Senate Election. Just. Don’t. Go. There.
Just when we thought we could have a Thanksgiving without politics involved, the guy who we tried to avoid talking about the previous two Thanksgivings just had to give our former senator his dream job of attorney general, although it seems it’s been more of a nightmare for him at this point — though thankfully for him he may not “recall” just how terrible it has been.

But either way, it’s now a nightmare for us as well, as we have this crazy, divisive special election threatening to ruin Thanksgivings from Opp to Opelika as liberal nieces battle it out with conservative uncles.

At this point, every Alabamian either thinks Roy Moore is a creepy child molester or a victim of some vast Left Wing conspiracy perpetrated by the Clintons and/or the media. Saying things like, “How can you sit on the front row of First Baptist every week and still support that pedophile?” to your Roy Moore-supporting family members is going to be just as effective as saying “This is nothing but a smear campaign set up by the fake news media to try and attack this godly man and his wonderful family” to your Doug Jones-supporting/Roy Moore-hating family members.

So be like Elsa and just let it go. You are not going to change anyone’s mind about this, no more than you are going to convince Aunt Edna she should ALWAYS keep her dentures INSIDE her mouth. So just keep the peace and quietly judge one another, as you always have. Silent judgment is what keeps families together! If you want to battle it out, have a Black Friday Facebook feud. Because everyone knows social media is the best way to change someone’s political or religious beliefs.

In the end, just remember, whether we are Bammers or Barners, supporters or haters of a crazy political candidate, Thanksgiving is a day for celebrating all of the blessings you have in your life, not hating on each other for making idiotic choices about sports teams and/or politicians. In the grand scheme of things, this stuff doesn’t really matter. So if you are tempted to go down that road or another family member tries to lure you into one of these toxic conversations, simply pour yourself another glass of wine and change the subject by saying, “Isn’t that Gary Danielson just the worst?”

Works every time. Thanks, Gary!