For many families, the only time they get together is around the Thanksgiving. Unfortunately some families need a Thanksgiving survival guide to help them survive tantrums and more. You may think children would be the ones having the tantrums but depending upon the family, it may be the adults having the meltdowns.
One of the best things you can do to survive Thanksgiving is to plan ahead. Set up your tables, chairs and table so everything is as ready as possible when it’s time to eat. Have rooms prepared if you’ll have overnight guests, or as a place to lay little ones down for a nap if they need it.
Set ground rules prior to guests arriving. If there are certain topics which start heated discussions, you may want to recommend those topics are avoided. Some of these might include politics, football teams or school rivalries.
Ask everyone who will be coming to bring something for the meal. This will enable everyone to feel like they’ve chipped in. Enlist their help in cleaning up and know ahead of time who that will be so you won’t have to do everything yourself. When you have everyone helping provide food and clean up there will be less stress for the host or hostess to deal with.
Think about putting together a seating arrangement in case you have some relatives who don’t always get along. If Uncle Joe and Aunt Tammy aren’t speaking to each other, seat them as far apart as possible. With a little forethought and planning, you can have a quiet meal with pleasant conversation rather than fussing and sniping.
Have finger foods available for guests in case the meal isn’t readily available. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a good choice to give everyone a small snack which won’t interfere with their meal too much. This is especially important if there are people with diabetes who have to eat at specific times. Snacks will also keep children happy and out from under the feet of those preparing the meal.
Will there be very many children at Thanksgiving this year? Coloring books and crayons, games and other activities can keep children occupied while the meal is being cooked and put on the table. If possible, have an activity table set aside for them away from the kitchen. Ask a teenager to help keep an eye on the children.
Try not to let negative comments affect you. Some people may complain about how you made a particular dish and explain how they’ve always made the same one from scratch when they host the dinner. Breathe deeply to avoid feeling like you could hit them or say something you shouldn’t. Smile sweetly and ask them to do something which will get them out of your kitchen.
Some family members may enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. To ensure there are no alcohol-related or induced arguments, you may feel that it would be better to have alcohol off-limits for everyone. Avoiding alcohol will also ensure everyone can drive safely when they leave.
Every family has members who don’t get along, children who misbehave or something of that manner. You may only get together once or twice a year, so try not to let the frustrations get the better of you. Be thankful you’ve had the opportunity to spend time with family and then you can recuperate until next year.