Thanksgiving has the potential to be one of the least stressful holidays for your relationship or marriage. Think about it … no tree, pressure to buy gifts, wrap presents, make cookies, send cards, etc. Where we get into trouble is with our expectations. I hope this list of ways to enjoy Thanksgiving will help strengthen your relationship and increase gratitude between you and your mate:
- Let go of perfection! No family is like the Brady Bunch or the Waltons. Rather than perfect mashed potatoes or a moist turkey, focus on being grateful.
- Be proactive with your mate. Talk about what you need help with a week before the holiday rather than the morning of it. The flip side to that is to ask, “What can I help you with?” the week before rather than that morning.
- Set time limits. If you have family that tends to overstay their welcome, put time parameters around the holiday before the guests arrive. If that doesn’t work, plan to see a movie – it clears the house every time.
- Give a heads-up! If you want to stay for a limited time at a relative’s home, let your relative know ahead of time that you need to leave at a certain hour.
- Know your limits. If you can only bring one side dish to the meal, speak up, rather than agreeing to make 3 side dishes.
- Avoid family gossip. Leave the room if it starts.
- Express gratitude for your spouse/partner. If you’re saying a public prayer of thanksgiving, include your spouse in that prayer!