Gus Bode’s top ten things to do after Thanksgiving (Hint: Sleep)

By Gus Bode, Staff Reporter

Since you can’t sell Thanksgiving costumes to children (at least not successfully,) retailers often overlook one of the U.S.’s biggest holidays.

At least one of SIU’s biggest, since we got a whole week off.

Whether it’s Black Friday shopping, seeing the latest Disney movie or asking where all the pumpkin pie went, we all have consistent rituals and habits every year after Thanksgiving. Here are our top 10 picks:


1. Entering a food coma

This one is for immediately after your meal.

Before food is served, you have to listen to everyone’s stories from over the year: your cousin got an internship, your mom won’t stop telling you to explain why you’re in college to grandma and your uncle can’t stop bragging about his new car. Even though he didn’t drive it to your house, he’ll still show you a dozen pictures.

Once you’ve had about a pound too many mashed potatoes and practically had as much cranberry sauce as water, you’re ready to lay on the couch and pass out.

It’s like you’re ignoring everyone, but with a perfect excuse to take up all the space on the couch as well.

2. Inquiring about dessert

Isn’t it weird how you can be extremely full from turkey and stuffing and suddenly, when someone says “Sweet potato pie is ready” you can get a second wind?


Come on, that’s not just me.

If #1 isn’t working for you, this option is a go-to because the rest of your family is trying to do #1.

Mom’s in the kitchen covered in flour and bugging her about when the pumpkin bread is going to be ready will really put her in a good mood. Trust me.

3. Watching football (at least pretending to watch)

Football is essentially the only thing airing on TV on Thanksgiving at the Bodes’. Luckily, if you get into any uncomfortable silences with extended family members you have no way to connect with, just cheer and boo when they do. You’ll blend right in.

Plus, this can be used in conjunction with #1 as well.

No one even wants to talk at this point—with the tons of pie they ate and the fact your grandpa doesn’t know what Red Dead Redemption 2 even is, we can all find solace in ignoring each other and watching the Bears barely win.

4. Playing with the pets instead of interacting with people

This is a great escape.

When you go to another family member’s house, you don’t have any real comfort areas. Many times the place can feel foreign.

Dogs and cats are almost always an easy conversation starter or a great way to ignore everyone. Dogs always want attention or food, so they can keep you occupied for a long while. Cats might just ignore you the entire time, but the quest to give them a tummy rub becomes that much more of a goal.

Just remember you may not get your hand back when you try it.

5. Shopping for items you’d never buy any other day this year

Black Friday is great for businesses, and for people who’ve been holding off on discounts for things like TVs, appliances and head bandages.

But there are so many items you’ll look at this Cyber Monday and think “Dang, I don’t know when this is going to be any cheaper.” After you think this, ask this: “But do I really need an installable bidet?”

(Editor’s note: If you do get one of these, let your guests know before they enter the bathroom or you’ll have to clean your mirror later. Those things are powerful.)

6. Getting stressed trying to get everyone to the movies

This one is a classic.

Usually on the next day, plenty of families want to go see a movie, like the upcoming “Frozen 2,” but trying to get everyone organized with three cars for 14 people is a pain.

Getting to the movie on time, buying the tickets and waiting for your little cousin to get his freaking Raisinets are never worth it when you enter the theater and can’t find a group of seats since every other family in America had the same poorly planned idea.

“Excuse me, could you move over?” really means “My son wants to be able to kick the seat in front of him, and I don’t tell him no.” It happens at every Thanksgiving movie showing.

7. Bailing on the movies 10 minutes before leaving

If the above examples weren’t clear, going to the theater Thanksgiving weekend sucks. Because everyone else will be so preoccupied with getting ready, you can easily slink out of the spotlight with an “I’m feeling way too tired. I’ll fall asleep in the theater.”

Now, part of the problem with this tactic is that you’re telling your family this — they’re gonna know you’re fake when you say this.

Make sure your walk is sluggish, and that you already have a headache. The latter probably won’t be acting.

8. Make a way better meal with leftovers

Yeah, Thanksgiving dinner is great and all, but we all know it’s not as good as your idea the following morning.

There’s usually a lot of leftovers, and unlike the ones you accidentally left in your mini-fridge the entire break, these still taste good.

Taking bread and using mashed potatoes instead of butter? Awesome. Reheating stuffing instead of taking five minutes to make something? Perfect breakfast. Cranberry sauce with toast? Messy. Honestly, that one’s not as worth it.

9. Dealing with garbage traffic

Then, there’s the leaving.

Whether it’s returning home from a relative’s or coming back to this university from wherever, suddenly everyone drives like idiots on holiday weeks.

Seriously, everyone thinks now is a good time to start braking on the highway after speeding up like arriving at 6:07 instead of 6:12 is going to change anything. You’re still going to be late, Carol. Quit threatening our lives with your Subaru.

10. Remembering all the work you didn’t do.

“Oh crap, I just realized my online class doesn’t stop during the break.” Some of you reading this probably just remembered that.

Yeah, you decompressed for a week, but actually you were supposed to do a lot of work the professors won’t grade for another month.

Luckily your hair is growing back from the last time you yanked it all out, so you should be set until finals week.

Notice how this is the first top 10 in a while? This tip might as well be the story of my life. Time to get back to editing the wrong “their.” No, they don’t own idiots, they are idiots.

Staff anti-socialite Gus Bode is sleeping on the couch after mashed potatoes, but you can email him at [email protected].

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