Monday, November 21, 2016

Surviving Thanksgiving With Family

By: Jenifer Metzger

Thanksgiving is just days away. For many, this means family. And for many, family can mean stress. Whether it is your side of the family or your husband's side, gathering so many different people isn't always easy. Here are 7 tips to help you make it through the holiday with family.

Surviving Thanksgiving with family. #thanksgiving #family #inlaws #marriage

1. If you are spending the holidays with your in-laws, try dropping those two little words. Sadly, the words in-law seems to have a negative vibe with many families. What we need to remember is that your in-laws are your husband's family. This means they are your family. So drop the term and see them as family. See them as your second set of parents, as your grandparents, your siblings, your nieces and nephews. Love them as such and treat them as such.

2. Don't set high expectations. Whether you are hosting a dinner or going to someone's home for a dinner, don't set your expectations too high for perfection. Just enjoy the day. It's okay if the tablescape doesn't turn out the way you saw on Pinterest. It's okay if dinner is a little late. It's okay everything is not perfect. The flaws are what make for good memories and hearty laughs.

3. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. I am all about using my good dishes on a regular basis. But let's be honest. A meal the size of Thanksgiving with extra guests, that is a lot of dishes. Who wants to spend their holiday standing over the sink washing dishes? In our family, we use paper goods. {I heard you gasp in horror!} It seriously cuts down about 2 hours of washing dishes when we can just throw everything away. For cookware, if a foil tin can be used and trashed, I use it! For a centerpiece, I do something very simple. This year, I am considering not even doing a centerpiece. The table is always so full of food anyway, why crowd it even more?

4. Be a team player. If your family is coming over to your home, involve them. If your mom (going back to number 1, this could be your mom or your husband's mom) typically does the cooking or just likes to take charge, ask for her help in the kitchen. Enjoy the time with her. If you are going to someone's home, ask if they'd like for you to come over early and help with anything. Work together as a team and make beautiful memories.

5. If you are visiting for the holiday, be sure to help with clean up! Your host will appreciate it. If you are the host, ask your guests to lend a hand with clean up. It's okay to ask for help. Many hands make light work. If all else fails, bribe them with pie!

6. Lay aside disagreements. Every family has disagreements. Especially after this election we just went through. Make it known to your family that there will be no negative talk. Unless someone's health or life is at stake, let the little things go. Enjoy conversations. Laugh at jokes. Smile easily. But do not argue. Bite your tongue if needed!

7. While the day will be a busy one for sure, don't forgo your time with God. Start your day spending time in the Word and in prayer.

What are your tips for surviving the holidays with extended family? Share in the comments!

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