Thanksgiving Survival Guide: How Not to Trade Your Soul for a Slice of Turkey

Thanksgiving Survival Guide: How Not to Trade Your Soul for a Slice of Turkey November 23, 2023

Image by Dmytro from Pixabay

The season of gratitude is upon us, and let’s be real, it’s also the season of testing our patience, especially when it involves the annual familial clash of the titans over a stuffed bird. Remember Matthew 16:26? “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain a full plate (or full belly) and lose his own soul?” This verse might as well be the unofficial motto of Thanksgiving dinners across America.

I learned long ago that Thanksgiving is what you make it. It’s not an open invitation for abuse. For me, Thanksgiving is about time with the community and family that matters. It was never meant to be about the torture of tradition. So, let’s talk about how not to lose your soul between the mashed potatoes and the inevitable MAGA hat in the room.

The Full Plate Dilemma

First off, the literal full plate – it’s the stuff of dreams—Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce that still has the can lines on it. But let’s not forget the metaphorical ‘full plate’: dealing with your conspiracy theorist uncle, your aunt who still thinks Obama was born in Kenya, and your cousin who’s a walking, talking Fox News bulletin. It’s like choosing between the lesser of two evils: indigestion or insanity.

Soul-Searching at the Dinner Table

The soul, as they say, is a fragile thing. And nothing tests its fragility quite like a Thanksgiving dinner where politics is served hotter than the gravy. You find yourself wondering if it’s worth biting your tongue as your relatives dismantle every value you hold dear, or if you should stand up for what you believe in and risk turning the dinner into a food fight.

Setting Boundaries – The Great Soul Exchange

Here’s where we get real. Setting boundaries is not just about self-preservation; it’s about not letting your soul get gobbled up like the last piece of pumpkin pie. You don’t have to engage in every argument. Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is pass the peas with a smile and keep your opinions as contained as the cranberry sauce nobody touches.

The True Spirit of Thanksgiving

At the end of the day, what does it profit a person to survive a Thanksgiving dinner if all you’re left with is heartburn and a heaping side of existential dread? Thanksgiving should be about gratitude, community, and maybe a little bit of overeating, but never about sacrificing your mental well-being for the sake of tradition.

Let’s redefine Thanksgiving. Make it about spending time with people who lift you up, not those who drag you into the depths of despair over dessert. Let it be a day where you can be thankful for the family you choose, the community you’ve built, and the sanity you’ve managed to preserve.

In the end, this Thanksgiving, don’t trade your soul for a slice of turkey. Instead, fill your plate with things that truly matter: love, laughter, and maybe a bit of snark. After all, isn’t that what the pilgrims really intended?

About Stuart Delony
My hope with Snarky Faith is to incite change no matter how big or small. I want to cultivate conversations that help people to look for new ways to live out their faith. I'm also one of the weird ones who think that God still moves today - we're just looking in the wrong places. You can read more about the author here.

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