Five Ways To Prevent Thanksgiving Guests From Lingering Too Long

Categories: Musings
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Goodnight Vienna and Goodnight Guests
​We all know the feeling: Turkey dinner is completed, the stories have been told, everyone has seemingly enjoyed themselves to a reasonable extent, and most of the guests have had the good sense to say thanks and goodnight - the key word here being "most". Invariably one or two will dawdle around as though waiting for a pair of pajamas and a warm bed. Attempting to subtly indicate that it is time for everyone to leave can lead to awkward moments, and can even make the host seem ungracious. Here are five easy ways to encourage lingerers to head home and make it seem like it's their idea to go:

1.Turn off the television set during half-time of the big game, and give a little speech about how the holiday shouldn't be about sports, but about family members and friends connecting on a personal level. It won't take long for your guests to figure that if they leave right away, they'll be able to catch the second half at home.

2.As dessert is being served, announce that you've rediscovered the perennially underrated Ringo Starr, and proceed to play his CDs -- or at least one, as your guests will be gone long before that one is completed. Of course you'll have to actually purchase a Ringo CD, but these can generally be found in the bargain bin for under $5.

3.Hook your laptop to the television set and gather everyone around to view videos of your extensive vacation travels abroad. Provide as detailed a narration as is possible, pausing the frame every now and then to finish your stories, and make sure to place that scene of yourself on the Amalfi coast, wearing a Speedo, early on in the video.

4.Take your youngest child aside and tell them that one of the dinner guests is a secret talent scout, and that they might be able to nab a spot in the next Justin Bieber video if they can prove their acting talent. The role: A child suddenly taking ill and needing his or her parents' undivided attention.

5.While entree plates are removed from the table, explain that dessert will unfortunately be delayed for some time, as the vegan tofu-zucchini parfaits are taking longer to defrost than anticipated. Trust us: The room will clear out faster than a triathlon training camp during a bomb scare.

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