Once you've realized that Thanksgiving is imminently doable as long as you have very low expectations, you can think about decorations. You will want to do as much of this before the big day as possible so it that doesn't interfere with your drinking. Here's are some tips to ensure that special flair:
1. All that really matters is that you have a clean bathroom. Everything else is extra. Remember: High Standards = High stress. Low standards = LOVE to You (Lots Of inVitations Extended to You).
2. Thanksgiving is not a competition. Sure, your sister in law will go the whole nine yards and put on a display that would please even baby Prince George, but you are not her competition. You are her family, whether she likes it or not.
3. You are actually teaching your sister in law important lessons with your low standards. You are teaching her to lighten up, which is very Buddhist (and thus good) in its whole "be in the moment/process not product/let down the mantle of perfectionism" thing. You are being like a zen master. She's lucky to have you! And for God sakes you're doing all the fucking cooking so why should she even care.
4. Say yes to candles. They hide any matter of sins.
5. Instead of worrying about your centerpiece, worry about your pie. People will not remember your centerpiece. They will remember your pie. If you buy your pie, of if you buy a pre-made crust or filling, people will remember that your pie was bad. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it's true. People may even begin to believe that they don't like pie, all because of you! Do you really want to live with that burden. Make the damn pie.
6. Honestly, it's not so hard to make a pie. The key is the crust: Don't over-knead it (you will be tempted!). And, when it's time to add the water to the crust, make sure it is VERY cold.
7. And none of this bullshit pre-made whipped cream. Make that too. It's super easy and way better. Google it.
8. Although it's important to keep your standards low, you have my permission to use the "good" dishes, table cloth, etc. Don't be 100% lame. Aim for more
like 80% lame.
9. In regards to cranberry sauce: There is no shame in it coming from a can, but there is shame in presenting it in the shape of a can.
10. Also, can I just go on record here as saying that when someone
says, "Can I help clean up?" The answer should always be "Yes! Be sure to turn off the lights when you're done."