Today’s the day we’ve all been fasting for, ladies and gentlemen! Now normally you wouldn’t be reading my regularly scheduled warm, soothing words until tomorrow morning – you know, right around the time when you’ll either be surrounded by furbee-crazed bargain hunters or the cozy comforts of your own bedsheets, depending on your own personal level of sanity. And don’t you worry, I’ve most definitely got something queued up for tomorrow’s events to do my part to help awaken everyone from their turkey-induced comas, but first thing’s first – that Thanksgiving dinner of yours isn’t going to eat itself…

This is no ordinary dinner that you’re about to experience, and I really think that’s where the bulk of people who get “full” on Thanksgiving make their first and biggest mistake – inadequate preparations. Sure, all sorts of planning and forethought go into making this massive mash of a meal – Aunt Julie’s going to bring the strained peas, Uncle Howard will do that traditional cranberry crap that nobody eats, etc, etc… – but for all of the hard work and dedication that go into creating this magnificent feast, what’s really done to prepare for its consumption? If anything at all, one (or more) of your overweight relatives may loosen a button on their jeans for comedic value, but as for true, honest-to-God preparedness – nothing.

Luckily, this is the point where all you really have to do is begin profusely thanking me, for I’ve taken the liberty of coming to your rescue on this Thanksgiving morning with the following tips for taking on the biggest meal of the year without mercy. We will come hungry, we will leave happy (and slightly lethargic), we will take no prisoners and leave no serving spoon untouched! For this, my friends, is a meal worth being thankful for…

Train Your Body for the Meal It is About to Receive
Now normally I would suggest a full regiment of pre-Thanksgiving endurance dining designed to increase your eating stamina, but seeing as you’ve really only got a few hours until the bird leaves the oven, we’ve got to condense six weeks of training into about six hours. But that’s ok – seeing as they’re going to be playing the Lord of the Rings trilogy all weekend anyways, do as the hobbits would do and make the most of the next few hours ahead of you, a la 1st Breakfast, 2nd Breakfast, Elevensies, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea … may the sweet smells of the upcoming feast lead you to victory!

Dress Your Sunday Best
Well, those Sundays where you lay around and watch cartoons all day, anyways. Just because there’s family around doesn’t mean that this is the time to wear something that shows off that figure you’ve been working all year to perfect. The man who created elastic did so with days like Thanksgiving in mind – show some respect!

Make Careful Use of Your Plate Real Estate
Unless you’ve opted to bring your own 24” plate (…which isn’t such a bad idea…), chances are your dining area is limited to whatever plates your hosts opt to set out, but smaller than preferred plates don’t have to be the bane of your holiday cheer. Again, some simple planning can go a long way, so before you go piling on the potatoes and gravy, make sure you’ve got a place for each of your favorites … and don’t be afraid to go vertical as needed!

Use All Necessary Force
Sure, courtesy is always important in any serving line, but there’s courtesy and then there’s just being taken for a sucker, and while you’re hanging back to let all of the women and children go first, they’re laughing their way to the bank as they take the last of the sweet potato casserole! Don’t be a chump – push your way in there and get what’s rightfully yours … you can always pay them back later for Christmas or something…

Drink Lots of Fluids (specifically wine)
If you’re at all concerned about the calories, drink your worries away and put them off until New Years where they belong!

Call Dibs on the Comfiest Couch
…because let’s face it, after three platefuls of turkey, stuffing, and Grandma’s stellar mashed potatoes, you ain’t going nowhere! Besides, all of that food’s going to need time to settle if you’re to have any room left later on for pumpkin pie…

Give Thanks for What’s Important
And most of all, as the pilgrims would want it, be sure to take some time on this day to give thanks for all that you treasure in this life. Things like stretch pants, and Cool Whip, and a spouse who tolerates your acting like a gigantic pig around the holidays each and every year. What would you do on the fourth Thursday in November without these things? What would you put on your pie or other assorted Thanksgiving Day desserts?!

It’s something to think about in between bites…