4 Texting Services That'll Get You Through Thanksgiving

Your phone is an essential lifeline--for more than just recipe advice.

By Beth Bartlett

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with those who mean the most to you, but sometimes a whole day of family togetherness can be too much to handle. From cooking advice to therapy or a much-needed distraction, there are text services to help you out.

BUTTERBALL TEXT HELPLINE

A golden brown turkey is the centerpiece of every traditional Thanksgiving dinner. There’s so much pressure for the entrée to be perfect, but things can go awry. Did you thaw it? Will it fit in the oven? Did you remember to remove the bag of giblets from inside before the smoke alarm goes off and the smell of melted plastic ruins everyone’s appetite?

Never fear, Butterball has your back. In addition to the Butterball phone helpline and website, there's also be a free text service to answer any questions about cooking your turkey. The service is up and running from Nov. 17 to 24. If you’re an inexperienced cook, take advantage of their years of culinary wisdom.

Text 844-877-3456 to get your questions ansered.

INVISIBLE BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND

You’ve barely taken off your coat when you’re cornered by your grandparents, aunts and uncles asking "Have you met anyone? Are you still single?"

Then they add the zinger: "Because you’re not getting any younger."

If the family pressure on Thanksgiving is too much, sign up for an Invisible Girlfriend or Invisible Boyfriend. You can show off texts and even a photo from your imaginary sweetie. Each website allows you to build the perfect mate ahead of time, from age to personality traits, and even helps you build a backstory about where you met.

It’s a paid service with a monthly fee--for $15/month, you can get 100 texts to show to your folks--but being able to eat your turkey and mashed potatoes in peace is priceless.


TALKSPACE ONLINE THERAPY

Sometimes gathering with extended family means dealing with more than innocent yet annoying pestering from relatives. There can be real issues between people, and old wounds are easily opened around the holidays. Talkspace online therapy can help when you want the kids to know their grandparents, aunts and uncles, but you also want to get through the day without emotional triggers or an anxiety attack.

Talkspace is a paid service starting at $32 per week for unlimited text messaging, billed monthly, but you do have one-on-one access with a licensed therapist. The service also offers therapists experienced with different therapy needs, from veterans to people in the LGBT community.


SPORTSALERT

Everyone’s gathered around the 50-foot television, but they’re not watching the game. Their eyes are glued to the parade or a dog show or an early Christmas movie marathon. If you try to watch the football game on your phone, you’ll get a disapproving look from Grandma.

Keep everyone happy by signing up at SportsAlert and receiving texts on the latest football scores. The free service also offers score updates on other seasonal sports like hockey, baseball and basketball. If you have the latest football scores, you have one more topic everyone can discuss instead of politics on Thanksgiving Day.