1. Channeling Sam Sifton. The former New York Times restaurant critic is on a roll. In addition to a career in food writing and 25 years of cooking holiday dinners, he twice manned the Thanksgiving Help Line at the Times, where he guided overwhelmed (drunk) hosts through frozen birds and flambé disasters. This year he has a new book and made a video on the Six Essential Rules of Thanksgiving for BuzzFeed. Let his assertive yet compassionate words guide you. He's bringing it back to basics.
2. Beersgiving. OK, technically this Thanksgiving Eve activity has been around forever
3. Spatchcocking your turkey. Honestly, that's just fun to say. But, the method might appeal to the huntsman because it calls for removal of the bird's backbone, which allows it to lay flat and the to meat cook evenly.
4. Doomsday Style Dining. Eat straight from cans in a bunker, surrounded by heavy arms and ammo. Set traps for bunnies, squirrels, feral hogs and zombies, then roast over an open pit. Pow!
5. Shopping instead of eating. Ugh. Really?
6. Turkey flavored vodka. What you need to do first is track down a bottle of vodka flavored vodka. It's probably way in the back of the shelf, behind the cotton candy and unicorn horn flavored spirits. The label will look old and have funny Russian words on it. Take it home and chill it in the freezer for a few hours. As your guests start to arrive, pull off pieces of your perfectly roasted turkey (by hand), pop them in your mouth and wash down with a shot of vodka. Falalalala-lala-la-laaaaa.
7. New Holiday Table Games. Instead of going around the table and having each person extol on what they are most thankful or what they like most about the person on their left (no switching spots!), play America's new favorite game Six Degrees of Separation to All the General's Women. Here's how it goes:
Pick a person, anyone, like Aunt Jane. Go! "Aunt Jane once sent a snarky email to a PTA president, which got her kicked off the board! Just like General Petraeus got kicked out of his job for stupid ass emails!"
The point of the game to emphasize how some (like a four-star general) might appear to be above such nonsense, but really suffers the same lame drama as most other humans. There are many variations to this very fluid situation. Adjust the game as needed.