Many families only get together during the Thanksgiving holiday. Sadly, some of these families require a survival guide to make it through the tantrums and more. While you may think that we’re referring to the children, it may also be adults throwing the tantrums depending upon the family involved. Use our Thanksgiving Survival Guide for a stress-free Thanksgiving.
To start with, you’ll want to plan ahead. Get the table all ready and set, gather the chairs and ensure that everything is set to go before you ever have your guests arrive. If you are having overnight guests ensure that the rooms are ready especially if they have little ones who may require a nap to prepare for the day ahead.
Set The Rules
Have your ground rules set prior to guests arrival. If you have specific topics that tend to become heated discussions, make sure to suggest that those topics be avoided during the holiday season. These topics may include politics, sports or even school rivalries.
Ask For Contributions
Ask everyone that will be at the meal to bring something to contribute. It may be a food item, dish soap or some thing else but everyone should be helping in some way, shape or form. You should not ever have to provide it all. Remind everyone that they also need to help by staying for the clean up part of the meal. There will be a lot less stress if everyone works together to make this day special.
Consider a seating arrangement. This way, if Uncle John and Aunt Sally don’t get along you can avoid them accidentally being seated together. Keep them as far apart as possible to avoid any controversy. By thinking ahead and planning the seating arrangements you can avoid a lot of challenges and tantrum throwing. You’ll be much more likely to enjoy a stress free meal and some pleasant conversation.
Keep some finger food snacks on hand for those guests that simply cannot wait to eat. You’ll have a much happier mood overall if no one is so starving that they cannot be nice to one another. Small healthy snacks won’t interfere with the meal and will help little ones to be able to wait for the actual meal.
Set Up A Kids Table
If there are going to be a lot of little ones have a kids table set up. It could have simple crafts, coloring books, art supplies etc. so that the little ones have something to keep them busy while the food is being prepared or placed upon the table. Have an older child or teen keep an eye on the table and lend support where required so that the adults can be busy helping in other areas of the preparations.
Ignore The Haters
Do not give in to anyone’s negativity. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun day, not a day where everyone gets on each others nerves. Ignore the complainers and don’t let it get to you. Take a deep breath and don’t react. Simply smile and move on with the day. It may feel like a huge challenge, but you will thank yourself later when all is said and done. Smile and give them something to do, that will keep them out of your hair and avoid further confrontation. Usually when someone is complaining they just need something to do.
A few family members may want a glass of wine. If you can get them to avoid this by saying its a non alcohol festivity for the kids sake, you can also avoid a lot of issues.
Remember, this is an annual event. It isn’t always going to be this way. Take the time to make it frustration free whenever you can and you’ll be so glad you did. Help everyone to have a great time and remember that this too shall pass.