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Let’s play Annoying Family Bingo:

  • Alcoholic Aunt.
  • Tea Party Dad.
  • Scientologist Cousin.
  • Racist Great-Grandma.
  • Goth-Phase Niece.
  • Conspiracy Theory Uncle.
  • Still Nursing a 5-Year-Old Sister-in-Law.
  • Twenty-Year-Old Brother Who Just Read Atlas Shrugged for the First Time.


Look, we’re not here to judge, but every now and then during the holidays, we know you want to sneak off into your old bedroom for a few minutes’ respite. Rather than reliving the pain of high school by thumbing through your 1997 yearbook, we offer a few mobile-friendly treats to divert your bombarded brainpan.

We love you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Update your Amazon Wishlist

When was the last time you resurrected that old beast?

Create special lists just for gifts you want from your significant other, gifts you want to buy for your dog, etc. Maybe even find a few special items for Racist Great-Grandma.

Also, the Amazon mobile app is pretty much aces on all platforms, including Windows Phone. Oh, you could kill hours up there in your old bedroom, which your mom has inexplicably converted into a haven for weird-ass crafting projects.

Snag a bite-sized piece of literature

Whether it’s a Kindle Single, a Medium long-read, some obnoxious think-piece in The Atlantic‘s mobile edition, or a short story on Byliner, the mobile universe has got you covered on reading material.

Just stay away from Hacker News. If you wanted to get a spewing sphincter of bile and hatorade, you’d be making conversation with Goth-Phase Niece.

Take in a podcast

Want to drown out the sounds of Alcoholic Aunt’s latest divorce-related emotional meltdown? While she’s ugly-crying downstairs, just pop in your earbuds and tune in to something enlightening.

NPR’s podcast carousel offers up lighthearted fare such as Wait Wait — Don’t Tell Me, or you can get heavy with This American Life. You could check out something techie (we prefer No Agenda with our favorite cranky geek, John C. Dvorak). Check in on Earthlings in space with NASA’s podcasts, or catch a beautiful blend of science and narrative from Radiolab.

Make some donations

‘Tis the season to give to those in need and score some tax breaks.

Do some research on your favorite causes — literacy, kids’ coding education, homelessness, or sanitation in Africa. You name it, the web has resources on how to give. Google’s One Today app highlights great organizations, Budge lets you get into a competition with your conspicuously consuming rich friends, and JustGive provides great resources for all kinds of charities.

Most nonprofits take in a disproportionately huge amount of their annual revenue during the holidays, so consider making yours a recurring donation. This is a great way to bring up the topic of empathy with 20-Year-Old Brother Who Just Read Atlas Shrugged for the First Time.

Learn something

The turkey is making you dumber. Those FDA commies are injecting the birds with mind-control chemicals, and before you know it, we’ll be as brainwashed as them Chinese. Or so Conspiracy Theory Uncle would have it.

You’ll never convince the old coot that he’s wrong, but you can tell him you’re taking a proactive stance by using your phone to increase your mental prowess post-feast.

Here’s how: You’re gonna download the Mathway app and get you some parabola knowledge. You’re gonna use Khan Academy and get you some organic structures knowledge. And you’re gonna use the Coursera app to peer into the inky depths of space and get you some wonder and majesty of the living universe.

So there ya go. Five ways to avoid your freaking annoying family on Thanksgiving.

Just make sure to spend some time with your family, especially the handful of sane ones, and tell them how much you love them and how great their candied yams were.

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