Anna Buckley/HelloGiggles
Gina Vaynshteyn
November 01, 2017 2:47 pm

Despite its violent and problematic history, I love Thanksgiving. I love dressing up for the occasion (usually a one-size-too-large cable knit sweater, jeans that stretch, and some booties — simple yet elegant, an ensemble that gives me ample room to eat three servings of turkey dinner). I love the food. I love taking my aunt’s leftovers and having food in my fridge for days after (a successful week, in my book, includes not having to schlep to the grocery store). I love my family, and I love that Thanksgiving, to us, is a celebration of how this country welcomed a group of Russian Jewish immigrants and encouraged them to flourish.

But with that said, the warmth of Thanksgiving has been, for many, marred. The meaning of the holiday that we have chosen to interpret has been lost. I try, try, try to avoid reacting to politics talk, because for the most part, my family and I aren’t on the same page. But last year, I failed. I raised my voice, I grabbed my phone and loudly recited facts from Safari, because what CAN you do when a family members brings up fake news to the dinner table? Navigating politics at the dinner table is a whole new world, and it is NOT easy. Also not-so-fun conversations:

“When are you having children?”
“Where’s your boyfriend/girlfriend?”
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
“Why don’t you ever call me?”
“Let me tell you how to do your job/manage your money/etc.”
“Are you ever going to buy a house/why are you still renting?”

Which is why we’re going to be not only talking Thanksgiving this year, but how to deal with all the baggage that comes with it. How to have that conversation about abortion and women’s sexual health over turkey and mashed potatoes. How to discuss what’s going on with Trump’s stance on immigration. How to respond if a family member says something offensive about the LGBTQ+ community. How to say, “It’s none of your business if I want children/a significant other/or mortgage payments!”

In addition, we’re going to deep-dive into the madness of Black Friday! Shopping! Gift guides! And more stuff you’ll want to read this month on HelloGiggles.

And look, if all else fails, we all know that vodka goes well with a slice of pumpkin pie.

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