Yes, it’s true. As a country, we desperately need to work on our civil discourse skills, but Thanksgiving may not be the best time to practice those skills. With that in mind, here are 10 fun facts that you can bring up to steer the conversation away from politics at your Thanksgiving feast. Pull these out as needed to prevent heartburn and hurt feelings.

  1. Thanksgiving is to blame for TV dinners. In 1953, a Swanson employee accidentally way too many turkeys for Thanksgiving. To get rid of them all, salesman Gerry Thomas came up with the idea of filling 5,000 aluminum trays with the turkey – along with cornbread dressing, gravy, peas and sweet potatoes. They were sold for 98 cents, and were a hit. Within one year, over ten million were sold. Triumph or tragedy?
  2. Gwyneth Paltrow is officially consciously coupling with boyfriend Brad Falchuk, one of the creators of Glee. Recall Gwyneth’s guest performance on an episode of that show where she covered CeeLo Green’s, um…Forget You.
  3. Since 2006, more people in the US have died in Black Friday accidents than in shark attacks. Statistically, the most dangerous place to shop on Black Friday is Wal-Mart. #arkansasproud
  4. Years in the making, The Incredibles 2 is finally coming out. What do we think is happening with little Jack Jack?
  5. Drew Carey has been hosting The Price is Right for a decade.
  6. Movie trailers are called “trailers” because they were originally shown after the feature film.
  7. The Bible is the most shoplifted book in the world.
  8. Ask people to do the math on how many gifts would be given if someone gave all the gifts in the 12 days of Christmas song (spoiler alert: 364)
  9. It takes about 600 cows to make one season’s worth of NFL footballs.
  10. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is 300 years old this year!

Keep these fun facts in your back pocket and apply as necessary.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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