5 Apps To Survive Your Family This Thanksgiving. Oh, sure. You love them. We all love our family. (Editor’s note: except for that weird guy who kept showing up every Thanksgiving and insisting we call him “Uncle Mort.” I’ve known since I was 5 there is no brother named “Mort” on either side of the family. Plus, he had a habit of popping out his glass eye and hiding it in the fruit salad, laughing uproariously at the inevitable screaming when someone spooned it on to their plate. This might also explain why none of us can even look at fruit salad without gagging.)
But I digress.
But let’s face it. The Holidays are the time when we’re over-everything: over-eating, over-spending, over-compensating and over-reacting. It’s easy to slip back into those old childhood roles. Like, The Whiney One. (Yeah, I’m looking at YOU, Juli!) Plus, after the election this month, you know perfectly well half the family voted one way, and the other half is certain they were wrong. Diffusing the situation and distracting the hostiles could save a life or two. So having a couple of backup plans never hurt, right? Here’s the 5 Apps you need to survive your family this Thanksgiving. We’re here for you, honey.
(photo credit: Shawn Drelllnger)
5 Apps To Survive Your Family This Thanksgiving:
1. Relax: Stress & Anxiety Relief app by Saagara (there’s a lite version free on iOS and Android.) It’s a handy little app that makes you breathe in and out to a soothing sound and accompanying pie-chart-style animation. When you feel your blood pressure spiking, slip into another room and breathe yourself back into a shape that resembles a sane person.
2. Conversation Starters: nothing to talk about with your Aunt June that you haven’t seen since 1979? For Android, the free Conversation Starter Help app is delightful. Choose a category for your conversation starters like Deep and Meaningful. (I learned more about insects and what they’re capable of than I ever wanted to know, but the conversation was certainly lively.) For iOS, I like Ask Me Anything for Adults ($1.99). Don’t panic about the “adult” part of the title, but it does contain some racier questions that might be good for flirting with that hot room mate your cousin dragged along to dinner.
3. Experience Gratitude: trust me. No matter how weird it’s getting at your house, someone else is having a much, much more terrible time. There’s an app called Happier (free for iOS and Android) that’s a wonderful thought-starter. When you launch the app, you’ll get a list of all the things people have been recently thankful for, and then click to add your own to the list. It’s got a nice little interactive feature, too. You can “smile” at other people’s posts and add your own comments to them.
4. Everyone Plays! Have a good reason to be clutching your phone like the lifeline to sanity that it is by inviting everyone to play a game. The trick is finding one the entire multi-generational horde can enjoy. Marble Mixer ($1.99 for iOS, free for Android) is perfect for everyone from 5 year olds to Great, Great Nana Hazel. Happy, sparkly music and the flicks of a finger send the marbles scooting. Very satisfying.
5. You Can Laugh Or You Can Cry: finding yourself leaning to the latter option? Whip out this handy little guy: Objectified Apps’ 18,000 Cool Jokes app (free for iOS and Android.) I jump on to the Blonde section right away, since I come from a family of Aryans and I’m the only brunette. But there’s everything from dorky kid’s jokes to some really terrible puns.
Now you’re armed with some coping techniques to make the Holiday weekend more bearable. Now, just don’t forget your charger. Do I have to remember everything here?