Not Your Typical Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

You’re praying that this year will be different. You are anxious to see most of your family, but there is always that one person who gets under your skin and deprives you each and every year of the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving that you can only dream about.

It’s true in every family.

The sister who always seems to be critical and competing.
The aunt married to your mother’s brother who continually tells you how to raise your children.
The grandparent who insists on telling the same unpleasant story every holiday.
The child who complains and won’t eat anything on the table.
The uncle who insists on arguing about everything and anything.
The ____________________________. (You fill in the blank.)

We all have them. Difficult family members who put us on edge and make us wonder if it’s all worth the effort.

Here are a few tips I’ve gathered that might just help:

1. Cover the day with prayer – Start now. Pray for each person by name and ask the Lord to bless them and your time together.

2. Make table assignments – If you know that Uncle George doesn’t get along with Aunt Patsy put them at opposite ends of the table.

3. Keep everyone busy – Give them jobs before the meal, and plan a game or project for later in the day. Have the children take photos or make place-mats. Set up your Christmas tree without the ornaments – and let them decorate it while you are in the kitchen. You can always move them later if you don’t like the placement.

4. Invite someone new – Inviting someone who is alone for the holiday,  it helps to keep everyone on their best behavior.

5. Write, I’m thankful for you because notes – Place each person’s name at the top of a piece of paper. Without signing any names have each family member write down one or two reasons why they are thankful for them. Read them aloud at the end of the day – and gift each person with their list to take home.

What would you add?

I am praying that each of you enjoy a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. We have so many reasons to praise the Lord for all that He has done for us. Remember He chose our parents and our siblings. He did it for a reason.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. Ephesians 1:4-6 (NLT)

2 Responses to Not Your Typical Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving
  1. Susie Klein
    November 22, 2011 | 3:51 pm

    I love this post so much! Thanks for the great wisdom and clever ideas to help make a family holiday go more smoothly, even if it is never a Norman Rockwell one. But don’t you just bet that one of those people in his painting was probably a pain to someone? Ha!

  2. Deb
    November 22, 2011 | 5:03 pm

    Thanks Susie, You made me laugh! Let’s guess which one is the pain. 😉 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!