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How to navigate Thanksgiving with the in-laws

Family drama at Thanksgiving is as common as turkey and stuffing. In fact, a recent poll on iVlliage.com, two-thirds of those who responded indicated that they expect some type of conflict before dinner was over. This anxiety can make going to (or facing) the in-laws very stressful, especially if you are in the midst of a divorce.

Women are traditionally in the crosshairs of sister-in-laws and mother-in-laws at this time of year, as blame is passed around as if it were fruitcake. Men can be made scapegoats too, but they usually retreat to the Cowboys' game to avoid bad blood. Nevertheless, the anticipation of in-fighting leads us to a few tips that can make a difficult Thanksgiving manageable.

Know when dinner is - It's hard for people to be upset when they are eating good food. With that said, try to plan your entrance about 10 minutes after the turkey is carved and people have started eating. At the same time, try not to be the one ringing the doorbell in the middle of the family prayer.

Plan a movie date - Outside of Christmas, Thanksgiving is the most attended day at the movies. Since there are a number of good offerings, a movie date will help reduce the possibility of family flare-ups.

Bring spirits - Nothing establishes a peace treaty like a good bottle of wine. Don't worry about whether they will accede to your taste, it's the gesture that counts.

These tips may not help you get along with everyone. It's hard to change people who don't want to change, but they will help make your holiday a little easier.

Source: Forbes.com, Women brace for the family feuds this Thanksgiving, November 22, 2010

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