How to have a Calm and Happy Thanksgiving with your Family

How to have a Calm and Happy Thanksgiving with your Family

With all the joy and gratitude that is spread during Thanksgiving, sometimes holidays can be stressful too.  We often put pressure on ourselves to make holidays super special and memorable, which may ultimately take away from your family’s experience and your own.  This year, work to have a calm and happy Thanksgiving with your family by following these 5 tips.

Tip #1:  Be Prepared

Waiting until the last minute to pull together your Thanksgiving holiday is usually ill-advised.  When you add kids to the mix, it can be a downright disaster.  When your kids are home from school and you have a house full of family, getting things done may prove more than difficult.  Start preparing for Thanksgiving early – yes, like, today!  Organize your to-do list, pull out recipe cards, shop when you can focus (perhaps without the kids in tow), make foods that you can refrigerate or freeze several days in advance, and keep the house tidy to avoid tons of last-minute housework.  Not preparing causes major stress and anxiety that often finds its way to your kids through your irritation and sour mood.

Tip #2:  Incorporate Family

Thanksgiving is a family holiday, after all, so get the entire family involved in preparing for the big day.  As they say, life is about the journey, not just the destination.  For Thanksgiving, the “journey” may include having family members help cook, set the table, clean the house and decorate the house.  Spending this precious time together getting ready for Thanksgiving will also give you time to reflect on gratitude and celebrate the spirit of the holiday.

Tip #3:  Have Fun Activities Available

Breaks from our everyday lives are meant to be somewhat chill, but do have some stimulating activities available should boredom overcome your clan.  These activities can be as simple as Thanksgiving crafts, board games or a fun new toy.  Of course we don’t recommend spending too much time in front of the screen, especially for little ones, but consider a special showing of a favorite holiday movie to curb the doldrums in your household.  For your youngest crew members, have something small for them to do at the Thanksgiving table to help avert tantrums.

Tip #4:  Beware of Picky Eaters

Festive meals are a great time to challenge your family to try new foods, even your pickiest eater.  But if you do have a picky eater in your group, have a few back-up items so your Thanksgiving meal isn’t filled with frowns and hunger.  Don’t give in to offering too many sweets as a solution for not wanting protein and vegetables because sugar overload can stir up meltdowns.  Rather, have a hard boiled egg or bag of plain carrots available as substitute items.

Tip #5:  Keep a Cheery Attitude

Your kids and entire family will feed off of your mood over the holiday season.  Even if you feel moments of stress, use methods of relaxation such as deep breathing, a positive mantra or taking a moment to yourself to calm down.  Remember that with many personalities and being outside of your normal circumstances, sometimes you have to let things slide, even minor infractions on the part of your kids.  The bottom line is, if you expect your family to be well-behaved and happy, you, too, should exude a cheery attitude.  Positivity and happiness are contagious to those around you and will help everyone have a wonderful holiday.

Have a calm and happy Thanksgiving with your family!!