As conservatives, we seek to conserve that which history has revealed to be noble, just, and true this side of eternity, in all walks of life, including Thanksgiving. Therefore, with history as our guide, here are the Dos and Don'ts for our culture's annual feast.
DO smoke or deep-fry your turkey if that is an option. Even if the wife is convinced that doing so will burn down the house. Let's face it, that's what insurance is for — and it's tasty.
DON'T make that green-bean casserole. Everyone says they like it, but they really don't. There's a reason why there's always so much of it left over. People lie to you when they like you, because they don't want to hurt your feelings. But I don't like you, so I'll tell you the truth. It's a wretched concoction best left unmade. Even your dog deserves better.
DO have a little pie with your whipped cream. The acceptable ratio is “barely visible underneath all that whipped cream.” Any more pie than that means you've let your gluttonous ancestors down and are a disgrace to your heritage.
DON'T schedule your meal around the Detroit Lie-Ins ... err ... Lions. As a lifelong fan, trust me when I tell you we're not worth it. We've won one playoff game since our last championship in 1957, and our sorry franchise pretty much exists only to crush the dreams of fans like me and clarify obscure NFL rules.
DO eat during the Lie-Ins game so you can give your full attention when America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, plays later in the day. That's an organization that actually believes in winning. Although they haven't done a lot of it in recent years, either.
DON'T watch the first two hours of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, because it's a total rip-off: a bunch of lip-syncing musical acts you've never heard of singing cheesy but forgettable tunes that make Nickelback sound like Mozart.
DO watch the final hour of the parade, which is the actual parade itself — culminating in Santa's epic appearance.
DON'T do your Will Farrell "Santa!" scream from "Elf" again this year when Santa appears at the end of the parade. Yes, people originally laughed when you did that — but that was in 2005. No one has laughed since then except you.
DO watch "Miracle on 34th Street" if it's on. But only the original with a precocious Natalie Wood and the eternally gorgeous Maureen O'Hara. All others are cheap imitators.
DON'T engage that family member who thinks they know everything about everything, all because they read all the cable news chyrons and/or Googled "freemasons" once. This person only comes to seek an opening to make everyone else as miserable as they are. Let them drown in their own bile. You're here to carb up.
DO volunteer to carve the turkey if you get the chance. Yes, that's a lot of pressure, but with it comes the ability to cleverly reserve for yourself the choicest cuts. And no, that's not selfish. Jesus said "the worker is worth his hire," remember.
DON'T have "game time," because we all know everyone is a sore loser but you, who never loses (or least admits to losing). Sure, you can handle a little friendly competition and let it go if things don't go your way, but the rest of your gathering takes things way too seriously. Besides, you wouldn't want to embarrass everyone else again and spoil their holiday, would you? Thanks in advance for being so merciful. And yes, I'm talking to myself ... err ... you.
DO take the time to share what you're thankful for, especially if that includes others in attendance. Too often we don't truly share how much we appreciate those we care about, and it's always more impactful for them to hear it from us than from Hallmark.