The pressure is on and now it’s a race to buy more food, spend more money, give more thanks, and round and round we go until January 2nd. For most of us this is simply a stressful time, and I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving gives me agida. From the enormous meals to the relatives or in-laws we’d prefer not to see, even one day out of the year, how does one cope with all the stress? Here are five ways you can turn yourself on to a wonderful Thanksgiving without all the irritation:
1. Have a plan. From what you are serving to the moment everyone goes out the door, make lists and imagine the scenario in your mind the way you want it to go. The forethought will help keep you on track, especially if you are the host, and move everyone in the right direction. If you are not hosting, the same M.O. applies; see your entry and exit in your mind and stick to the time frame you envision.
2. Focus on others. What’s the one thing people care most about? Themselves! Decide what you wish to ask each person about his or herself, the topics they enjoy, and pour out the compliments. Having others speak about themselves and their lives will make them very happy, and bonus: they’ll remember how happy you made them feel.
3. Engage the kids. Kids are a superb distraction. Bring each child who will be at Thanksgiving a small gift. Something simple like a bag of pretty marbles, hair ties for the girls, stickers, or small mixed bags of candy. Make it a “Thanksgiving hunt”, like an Easter egg hunt, hiding small tokens around the home for the kids to find. The family will also remember how upped the ante this year by distracting the kids if even for an hour.
4. Bring games. Even if only a few engage, the distraction of a few sitting down for a classic like Clue or Scrabble is a nice way to enjoy company without the pressure of conversation. Mixing the day up with some games will be a memory that you will cherish forever.
5. Take photos. Okay, so you don’t love aunt Trudie or cousin Bob all that much, but fake it with film. Ask your various relatives to hold their glasses while you take pictures, to hug, and mix the relatives up so the ones that are never together are photographed together for posterity. And take selfies with your relatives and upload them to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to create some excitement around the event.
Most of all, this Thanksgiving as you count your conundrums, count your blessings. You have many!