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Let the Children Have a Swig of Wine at Thanksgiving Dinner

Everyone could use a drink to take the edge off after these last eight months, even the youngest among us

Our Thanksgiving op-eds have been coated in butter and dunked in a barrel of boiling oil. Now our house is on fire. But nothing, nothing will convince us otherwise. So pass the alcoholic gravy — here are our deep-fried holiday takes.

If the last couple weeks are any indication of how stressful the actual holiday season is going to be, we’re all going to need something to take the edge off this Thanksgiving. Sure, kids have the youthful fortune of not being totally poisoned by cynicism (and seemingly COVID — at least not at the levels of the rest of us are), but that doesn’t mean they’ve completely avoided the despair of 2020. And what vices do we give kids to deal with it all, cartoons? TikTok? Bullshit. Given the historic dread we’ve survived this year, I say we let kids drink during Thanksgiving dinner. Moderately. Like, three sips of Riesling.

Tomorrow, yet again, we’re all going to be stuck with our immediate family, the same people we’ve been staring at day after day, for hours on end. There’s no doubt the youngest among us are just as sick of the monotony as you are. After all, novel experiences are a huge part of growing up. But how many of those have they had in the last eight months? 

Letting kids have a smol glass of wine with dinner this holiday — perfectly paired or not with the turkey, it depends on how much of an insufferable asshole you want them to grow up to be — is a great way to manufacture a little bit of novelty in a controlled, quarantined environment. (Beer is okay, too, but no liquor — I’m not a fucking monster.) Adults could use a diversion from the ordinary as well, and given we’re all bottling up emotions right now, maybe this will be your chance to tell them you hate their best friend, or their chance to tell you that despite your endless protestations, you definitely are balding.

Now, introducing alcohol as a coping mechanism could set them up for a lifetime of struggle, so make sure to remain in control of this manufactured life experience and turn it into a learning experience. Hammer home the idea that this isn’t some forbidden fruit. Rather, just like adults, a glass of wine is actually very boring, nothing special and to be enjoyed in moderation. Also, tell them that it will make them feel as though they’re in Italy, France or any other European nation whose government cares about them enough to provide free health care and higher education.

I’m probably too far into this to say that I’m nowhere near being a parent, but adding a small swig of entertainment and novelty to the holiday while guiding your kids through a monumental life lesson at the same time? There’s no denying that’s just a classic parenting win-win