For those not familiar with certain Thanksgiving customs in the south, you may be feeling a little out of the loop (and scared). Don’t worry. Here is a fool-proof guide on how to survive possibly the most underappreciated work of art a.k.a. a Southern Thanksgiving.

Order Your Groceries a Week in Advance (Seriously)

When Thanksgiving rolls around, you can almost feel a shift in the atmosphere as everyone mentally (and sometimes physically) prepares for the biggest feast of the year. Don’t wait to get your grocery list going. That will be your first mistake. Instead, get everything you need a week in advance because everyone and their mama will be camping outside Walmart for mountains of pumpkin pie filling. If you thought southern hospitality exists inside a grocery store around Thanksgiving, think again. Save yourself from seeing the ugly side of your sweet neighbor by getting a jumpstart on buying your ingredients.

Bust Out the Sweatpants

This is not the most glamorous holiday, but that’s okay. If you are at a true southern Thanksgiving, you will be eating until you gain an extra twelve pounds, and when that happens, the last thing you need is to be in a nice suit. Instead, go for comfort over fashion by wearing loose clothing like sweatpants, so you won’t feel like you are suffocating on all the dinner rolls you just consumed (we understand).

Accept the Fact that Turkey is Not Always the Main Dish

A turkey is a major symbol of Thanksgiving, but in the south, it is not mandatory. There are actually a lot of households that have ham as their main dish or even barbecue. And if you are feeling really nice, you can have both (or all three). It doesn’t matter what you have as long as everyone will eat it for days.

Smile and Nod At All the Casseroles

It may seem ridiculous that so many casseroles exist, but it’s true. There is a casserole for just about anything and everything. It’s very common to see multiple of the same kind, so if you see three versions of squash casserole, just smile and nod. This dish is easy to make and super tasty, which is probably why it is so popular. Not to mention it can serve so many people which comes in handy for a massive feast.

There Is A Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing

One of the greatest sins you can commit on a Southern Thanksgiving is thinking that stuffing and dressing is the same thing. Nothing turns heads quicker than asking “Can you pass the stuffing?” when pointing to the tin pan container of dressing. There is a difference, believe it or not. Stuffing is made inside the turkey, dressing is made alongside the turkey. Although they both have a similar taste, you don’t want to offend their true identity (or your Aunt Barbara who slaved over the stovetop dressing for a whole ten minutes).

Sweet Potato Pie IS a Dessert

“But a potato is a vegetable,” you are probably thinking to yourself as you see the sweet potato pie mixed in with the fifty different pecan pies. It’s not a mistake. It’s a Southern thing.

Forfeit the Remote

If you are going to try to squeeze in your favorite television show on Thanksgiving day, try again. There are two things you can watch and that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade or the football game. Anything else is just a crime and you will be punished.

Naps Are Mandatory for Survival

After eating yourself into a coma don’t expect your family to do anything else but take a massive nap once the feast is done. You have to recover before going in for round three.

Prepare for Black Friday Like It’s Your Job

For some people, this is what they have been waiting for all day. Businesses have sent out several emails, newspapers and other items with advertisements for their biggest Black Friday sale ever. Now it’s time to throw away your day-job and become a professional Black Friday shopper. You may not use coupons all throughout the year, but you WILL find the best place to get a flat screen TV for 50% off.

You Thought Thanksgiving is Just Dinner? Think Again

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t just made for a one time meal. It will last you for probably another week. You will be eating mashed potatoes for a solid month before you order pizza. You waited for this meal all year, now you will eat it for the rest of the year. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At least you know it’s good.

For more tips and tricks on how to handle or even explore the south, keep up-to-date with Roll’N South! We have tons of events you can visit, recipes you can try out, and more! Like our Facebook page for all the latest news today.