If seeing family makes you want to skip the turkey and all its trimmings, try these survival tips
Thanksgiving is finally here! We should all be thankful for family. Right? If you are less than excited to spend time with family this holiday, we are here to help you keep calm and maybe even have some fun. So, if there are questions you don’t want to hear or in-laws to be avoided this Thanksgiving, we have created a survival guide to help you out.
How to deal with political divides
Is your family split on politics? Do things get heated when someone mentions the nightly news? Before the fireworks begin, arm yourself with as much trivia as you can. A quick, “Did you know…” may steer the conversation in a whole new direction. Like, speaking of presidents, did you know that Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday? It was actually due to the efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, also known as the woman who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Or if Turkey should come up, change the conversation by saying, “Hey, fun fact about turkeys…let me tell about how they got their name.” Check out these fun facts to impress your family and keep the conversations based on the holiday. Here’s another source to get you started.
How to deal with personal questions
You may be familiar with the five-second rule that you can eat whatever falls on the floor if you pick it up in five seconds. But are you familiar with the 10-second rule? Every time someone asks you an unwanted question or makes a comment that you feel yourself reacting to, give yourself a 10 count before saying anything. If you learn to hold your tongue, you can respond in a positive way or find a way to change the subject without hurting feelings and starting a chain of resentment.
How to deal with the same old, same old
Some people stick to tradition. Others thrive on new experiences. If your Thanksgiving has turned into more of a Groundhog’s Day, why not have some secret fun with it to get you through? If you already know exactly who will say what or what will happen next, create a Bingo board in your head. Every time a family member does or says something you knew they would, give yourself an imaginary pie slice on that square. If you get them all right by dessert time, reward yourself with an extra big slice of pie!
How to deal with meeting your significant other’s or friend’s family
If you’re headed to a large gathering where you may not know a lot of guests or it’s their first time meeting you, it can add stress. Just remember, always head for the kids table, it’s always more fun. And after dinner, there’s always a tv room.
How to deal with the need for perfection
If you expect your Thanksgiving dinner to look like a Norman Rockwell painting, you are setting yourself up for failure. Have realistic expectations about what your family is like and try to keep the focus on the thanks and not the drama. If your family can’t contain the drama, why not start up a good, old-fashioned game of charades?
This Thanksgiving, try and savor the food, enjoy the company, and put the focus on giving thanks. A positive attitude can go a long way. If all else fails, take a break and go outside for some fresh air.
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