The Thanksgiving Game: 2019 Edition

Note: Three years ago I had a fantastic idea for creating fun word games to entertain my readers on Thanksgiving. This was the first one I created. I did a logic puzzle the next year, and then… well, let’s just say my memory is not the best. Nothing ever happened again. But I really like this one so I thought it was time for a reboot. Some items were changed or added to make it more current, though I left one intact for reasons you shall soon hear.
And now… Let’s play the Thanksgiving Game!

Setting the scene:

Your family is gathering for Thanksgiving dinner. You haven’t seen these people for a whole year and you were perfectly fine with that. But now you’ll be with them and you have concerns. Deep concerns. Will you survive? This game can show you the way!


To survive Thanksgiving with a shred of dignity.


Choose your token:  🦃  🍗  🍁  🥧  ☮️

Your success or failure depends upon the following behaviors:

You arrive early and help Aunt Joan in the kitchen, even though she corrects everything you do: Advance 5 spaces

You spend the entire day in front of the TV eating Doritos: Go back 3 spaces

Your cousin Amelia says she’s leaving after dinner to catch early Black Friday deals; you refrain from judging her (out loud): Advance 2 spaces

Your Uncle Henry says something racist; you remain silent: Go back 5 spaces

Your brother-in-law Leroy makes a sexist joke. You say, “Whoa, man, not cool! Women are goddesses who deserve our respect!”: Advance 5 spaces

The turkey is dry and you mention it: Go back 6 spaces, jerk

Aunt Joan forgot the whipped cream; you offer to run to the store and literally run to the store, returning an hour later: Advance 1 space

Your cousin’s friend says they’re in AA and you say, “Wow, sucks to be you,” as you pour your third glass of wine: Go back 12 spaces, you monster

You find at least three instances to use “climate emergency” in conversation, as it is the word of the year: Advance 2 spaces

Whenever someone mentions the impeachment hearings, you burst out singing “To Dream the Impossible Dream” at the top of your lungs: Go back 1 space and look into voice lessons

Before you arrived, you carefully read this article, studied up on topics you’re passionate about, and wrote talking points on your left arm with a blue Sharpie: Advance 4 spaces

Your niece shows you her new tattoo of her favorite inspirational quote and you point out its grammatical errors: Go back 3 spaces because that’s just mean

Your rich cousin Renata, who lives in a gated community and sends her kids to an all white school, is wearing a safety pin*; you discretely slip a copy of this article into her purse: Advance 2 spaces

Before leaving, you use your Uncle Henry’s toothpaste to write “Love Trumps Hate! We Shall Overcome!” on his bathroom mirror, then leave enough money to buy a new tube of toothpaste because that used a ridiculous amount of toothpaste: Advance 3 spaces

Good luck everyone!

*Does anyone remember that safety pin thing of a few years ago, when white people wore them to prove they weren’t racist? (Honestly, I’m not quite sure how that worked.) At the time I thought I was terribly clever writing that little paragraph above, but in hindsight I’m not sure it made me any better than the people wearing pins. In truth, all these words and symbols mean squat if they aren’t followed up with real action.
I’ve nothing more to add on that score; just something to think about.

Happy Thanksgiving!

16 thoughts on “The Thanksgiving Game: 2019 Edition

  1. Played the game. Ran back and forth so much I’m dizzy and oddly in the same place I started. Going to have a cool ex-pat Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy yours. cheers

  2. Funny, I’m still on “Go”! Well, it’ll just be the two of us this year for a change – and I’m doing turkey and all the trimmings anyway (for the first time in a long time).

    I checked out the articles – very good. I recall the safety pin thing – around here it was about supporting undocumented immigrants. I thought it was a silly self-congratulatory gesture, too.

    1. We volunteered at a community dinner thing — I scooped stuffing onto trays for an hour. Which may not sound fun, but the people I was with were a hoot.

      So you remember the safety pins? I had to reread the article as I couldn’t for the life of me think of what I was referring to! It really was just so silly.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Things I’m thankful for – I’m Canadian and our Thanksgiving was a month ago!
    I thought this was one of the best Tweets I read in the run up to Thanksgiving: Dave Rubin @RubinReport Nov 27
    In light of the million think pieces on how to deal with your family on Thanksgiving, I offer a radical idea…
    Be gracious, kind and thankful to those around you and see what happens.

    1. Oh my gosh, I love that idea! It is rather radical, and just imagine if we all followed his advice. We might actually enjoy ourselves and have a lovely Thanksgiving. 🙂

      1. We have a dinner table rule – no talk about politics, religion or climate change… or illnesses or any of the things that nurses seem to love to share… I’m sure every family could devise their own list of taboo topics!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Christi. We had 11 over this year, the turkey was moist, nobody brought up politics or said anything racist, and we all got drunk on vodka cranberry cocktails. How many spaces should I move?

  5. Somehow I missed this one, which should surprise absolutely nobodyt. On a related note, I don’t remember this one from the first time around the block as well. I think it’s quite clever, so either my memory is continuing to degrade (entirely possible) or I’ve missed more of your posts than I realize. This makes me very sad, and I should receive a hefty point loss as retribution.

    As mentioned, I enjoyed the cleverness herein, enough so that I initially just wanted to slyly steal the concept. But then I thought, hey, we could do a GREAT collaboration with this, a revision wherein we manipulate the potential point losses and gains so that the most well-balanced trajectory leads to a final score of 42. Are you in? (And by “in”, I don’t necessarily need a commitment, just an agreement that you will contemplate such…)

    1. Oh darlin’, I have absolutely no idea how this would work, but you know I’m totally in!
      Also, you DID read this before but maybe my revisions were enough to throw you off? You left a lovely comment at the time. Here it is:
      Brian Lageose
      November 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm
      We are so alike, which is a thrilling but scary sensation…
      And here was my reply:
      C. J. Hartwell
      November 29, 2016 at 8:59 am
      Yeah, I get that. It’s like some sort of weird egg splitting thing happened between our mothers outside their wombs, traveled between multiple states, and waited around a couple years before implanting in uterus, accounting for our slight age difference. You should write a story about it. Or I should. Or you should. Or I should. Or…

      Ring any bells? 😉

      1. Ah, yes, I do remember those comments. So then, I guess this is confirmation that my mental degradation is quickening its pace on the Track of Life. I now feel compelled to write a tragic poem about the loss, but I’ll probably forget what I was planning by the time Microsoft Word fully opens up…

        On a lighter note, at least I have the years of our lovely correspondence to reflect and smile upon as the train rumbles toward the next station… 😉

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