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7 Things Relatives Say at Thanksgiving vs. What They Actually Mean


Ah, relatives. There’s nothing quite as magical as gathering around the Thanksgiving table with them to share a delicious turkey dinner with decadent side dishes, before digging into some scrumptious dessert. But as we all know, when you mix the whole family together for several hours of dinner conversation (and maybe a couple of strong drinks), you’re bound to hear at least a few off-the-cuff comments. If your relatives happen to have very different personalities, some of their commentary might raise quite a few eyebrows — including your own.

See, we know our loved ones mean well and want us to be our best selves possible, but sometimes the holiday season brings out the snark in all of us. For instance, just about everyone knows what a relative really means when they ask us things like, “Do you really need that second plate?” (Why yes, yes we do.) But other comments from relatives at Thanksgiving can err on the sneakier side. For example, a seemingly innocent question about your home decor might actually be a passive-aggressive way to tell you that you that you should update it (don’t listen to them). And a request to “help” by getting something at the store may very well be an excuse to get out of doing more urgent tasks around the house (don’t fall for it!).

If you’re left scratching your head by anything a family member utters on this holiday, look no further than our handy relative translation guide to decipher what your loved ones are really saying. As a bonus — and to help you through an awkward moment or two — we also offered our suggested responses for each off-putting remark. You’re welcome! Scroll down to see common things your relatives probably say at Thanksgiving, and what they actually mean by it.

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