Thanksgiving Advice for Family Harmony
The holidays can be a ton of stress and often times when the families are together it is a time that brings great joy and bonding, but there sometimes are disagreements which can occur. It is everyone’s wishes to try to keep the peace and the harmony and avoid fighting at all costs. Unfortunately, it’s much easier said than done.
Things to remember as we approach the holiday reunions and get-togethers:
- This is an easy one and a duh, but do not discuss politics amongst friends and family if there are varying opinions that could lead to unhealthy fights. And definitely do not turn on Fox or CNN during the family visit if you know it will cause rifts and unhappy family members. You might as well set up a boxing ring in the middle of the family room and pass out the gloves! Politics are such a hot button these days that it is best to avoid the subject(s) all together.
- Be kind to each other. There is an adage that “everyone is going through something” but it is especially true in the time of covid. There has been so much loss and transition since the beginning of 2020. The amount of depression and the wait to get into therapy is at an all- time high. So for that reason and a million others, be patient and kind to one another.
- Mind your manners. Whoever is hosting has planned the event for weeks and that involves cleaning, decorating, setting the table, and making sure the day is special. Remember to bring a little token of appreciation which could be something small, but the thought goes a long way. And for goodness sake, help clean up even if it is just clearing your plate from the table! Be an example to the children and a role model for others.
- Be the person that suggests a fun football game, a walk around the neighborhood or a board game. There is less opportunity for discord if everyone stays busy and engages in a healthy manner and it also gives everyone a break from too much togetherness!
- Ask how people are doing in life and listen to their response. Everyone likes to talk about themselves and their family so it is great to make sure everyone feels engaged and shares their news. You don’t want to walk away and regret not asking about jobs, family and how they are doing.
- Take a break! If the family is getting too much, you are entitled to take a breath. Maybe you can run out for the missing cranberries, go walk the dog or just go to another room for some deep breathing. This is the year where families are getting back together for the first time in a while and expectations are high. It is supposed to be the perfect get together because it’s been so long-although this isn’t always the case. Be kind to others but also be kind to yourself. You might need a solo walk.
In short, don’t set unreasonable expectations for the day. Let’s be honest, if you are looking for the perfect day, you will set yourself up for failure. Instead, maybe your goal is to make sure everyone has a laugh, that there is a chance to share what they are grateful for or just an opportunity for togetherness. If you are trying to make everyone happy, it is nearly impossible to achieve so try for something manageable—no one gets angry and throws something. If you just lower the bar and be “thankful” sometimes that is good enough.