Since We’re All Staying Home, Build Yourself a Perfect 2020 Thanksgiving Table

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Since We’re All Staying Home, Build Yourself a Perfect 2020 Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is effectively cancelled this year. Well, if you’re a responsible American who wants to help prevent another surge in the COVID-19 pandemic, then it’s at least a holiday spent at home, catching up with friends and family over Zoom.

So, instead, let’s put together our own Thanksgiving family dinner—one that would probably better than the real thing, anyway.

Here’s how you do it: Below are a grab bag of the most memorable personalities from 2020, from celebrities to characters in pop culture. You get a sampling of them all. In section one, choose two people from the mom/dad section. From there, pick up three siblings, three aunts and/or uncles, a grandma, a grandpa, and a smattering of cousins. It’s like drafting a fantasy football team, but for people who spend more time on Netflix than ESPN. It’s an ideal world, but in this year, if we can’t relish in our fantasies, what else do we have?

MOMS AND DADS ( TOTAL 2)

PRO: Happy to help you get out of the parking ticket you’ve been avoiding for a couple weeks.

CON: He always seems so lonely. You really should call him more.

PRO: Just down to let you watch television without interrupting.

CON: Only has 24 hours before his regenerated bottom half disappears into the afterlife, leaving you alone.

PRO: Hottest dad in the game.

CON: Keeps ending up shirtless. And on the roof?

PRO: Is coming in hot with a lesson, and you better not interrupt him.

CON: Will outshine your Thanksgiving outfit, no contest.

PRO: Can spatchcock a turkey with her bare hands. I know, I don’t get it either.

CON: Wasn’t able to stick around for dessert because she had to go “do some work at Milk & Hanoi.”

PRO: Takes Thanksgiving so seriously that it’s become sport at this point.

CON: Makes way too big of a deal about who is going to make it “on table” this year.

PRO: Knows how to command a dinner table when everyone else is speaking.

CON: Way stricter than you’d like when you break the rules.

PRO: You have never been a tablescape this immaculate in your whole life.

CON: You have never heard so much about someone’s tablescape.

SISTERS AND BROTHER (TOTAL 3)

PRO: Has the good weed. Knows the best new music.

CON: Doesn’t even try to have a poker face when she disagrees with someone.

PRO: Is absolutely not even going to entertain the idea of racist shit at the dinner table.

CON: Come with her own baggage. And demons. And monsters. It’s so much, honestly.

PRO: Is having the best year of anyone at Thanksgiving but isn’t going to rub it in your face.

CON: If you post a photo from Thanksgiving on social media, RIP your mentions.

PRO: She’s doing good, she’s on some new shit.

CON: The 11th hour political rant, just when it seems everyone has chilled out.

PRO: Absolute best person to have around for a quick errand to the gas station. Donuts in the parking lot, baby.

CON: Yes, Michael Jordan is his boss, and no, he’s not going to get you an autograph. Why don’t you just appreciate Bubba as he is?

PRO: Down to embarrass himself to take any heat off of you.

CON: Might get you stuck in a time loop.

PRO: Has institutional knowledge about every county where every family member lives.

CON: Hasn’t slept since 2017, so conversation is really going to be a crapshoot.

PRO: Makes a mean batch of macaroni in the pot.

CON: She’s going to talk about what it reminds her of at the dinner table.

AUNT AND UNCLE (TOTAL 3)

PRO: Behind the scenes stories about the Sunset Bay reboot with Nicole Kidman.

CON: Don’t ask her to fold in the cheese. Or cook anything.

PRO: She is capable of being just about any character you need at the table.

CON: It feels like she’s stretched so thin, and that guilt is going to weigh on you.

PRO: Free crystal reading.

CON: Calls you “girlfriend” even after you’ve asked her to stop.

PRO: He’s just super nice.

CON: (extreme Lin-Manuel voice) When you’re full and feeling lazy / And the family drives you crazy / Maybe we don’t need another rap about delicious gravy / And the thing with Uncle Lin / Is that he’ll do it all again / About the deviled eggs, the turkey legs, the Chiefs and who they’re playing

PRO: He knows how to defuse a situation and bring the table together.

CON: Always brings Aunt Rita, who insists on rapping for the family. She and Lin-Manuel are explicitly banned from attending together.

PRO: Cool boyfriends who always seem to have a good heart.

CON: Will not stop talking shit about Carole Baskin during grace.

PRO: Has the best stories of anyone at the table.

CON: You keep catching him making mom’s figurines kiss.

PRO: Three aunts in one package. All musically talented. All rife with opinions you can vibe with.

CON: Don’t expect an invitation on Natalie’s boat. It’s off the table.

PRO: Always down to troll the rest of your family with you.

CON: Once tried to sell your cousin as a concubine, and it wasn’t great!

PRO: She literally hosts a show that takes place in a grocery store run, which makes her perfect for last minute pickups.

CON: Getting more than one season on a network these days is near impossible.

GRANDMA (TOTAL 1)

PRO: Every other grandma slips their grandkids a cookie. Dolly will slip you a season pass to Dollywood, a hit song, and a life lesson wrapped up in a sweet cliche.

CON: When she tells every grandchild she will always love them, it starts feeling less special, you know?

PRO: Great stonewash tee shirts.

CON: Feels like she’s trying too hard.

PRO: For all intents and purposes, you get a dashing grandpa and a fierce ass grandma.

CON: The fracking.

PRO: Knows how to wrangle a table full of absolute hooligans.

CON: Is as uninterested in recreating a scene from Sister Act as she is dealing with right wing conspiracy theories.

GRANDPA (TOTAL 1)

PRO: Always vibes with the younger adults. Never once talked about these imaginary “participation trophies.”

CON: Why is he yelling?

PRO: Easily entertained and his earnestness is refreshing after such a jaded year.

CON: Is an actual demon in a skin suit. 🙁

PRO: Always the most measured, researched guy at the table.

CON: No one has listened to him for 8 months, so good luck getting off the ground on Thanksgiving.

PRO: You can’t stop the Count!

CON: No, literally, you can’t stop the count.

COUSINS (TOTAL 4)

PRO: He is, arguably, the most qualified on this list to give you good fashion advice for the year ahead, and gender is a non-issue.

CON: You can’t date your cousin.

PRO: The one creative cousin you’d absolutely be down to catch up with.

CON: She is, unfortunately, too cool for that shit.

PRO: She has insane stories about being in the recording studio with Beyoncé.

CON: Keeps picking up the turkey and saying “Gobble me, swallow me!”

PRO: Brings an essential Italian flair to Thanksgiving, along with a Sound of Music medley to kick off the holiday season.

CON: You barely get any time with her because of all the planned wardrobe changes (with matching mask).

PRO: Can perform at least one cover version of a song that every single person in the family will like.

CON: Can’t leave a room without this playing.

PRO: Can reach the serving dishes stored on top of the tall cabinets.

CON: Possibly has a stash of sensitive documents that will bring down the entire family dynasty.

PRO: Incredible job at pulling attention so that you don’t have to deal with unwanted family conversations.

CON: My God, he ate all the deviled eggs?

PRO: Can defuse any tense situation with an arsenal of impressions.

CON: Oh, honey, if you aren’t caught up with pop culture, honey. I don’t think so, honey.

PRO: Probably has a great Thanksgiving playlist.

CON: The whole “bandaged face” aesthetic is going to scare the hell out of the younger attendees.

PRO: Has major “older cousin who takes you under her wing but hates everyone else” vibes.

CON: Her ice cream cake showstopper

PRO: Can finally teach you how to play chess.

CON: Have you ever played chess with someone on drugs before?

PRO: Extremely realistic confidant who can keep you grounded when family gets stressful.

CON: He’s probably tracking you on his phone.

Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture.

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