How to Avoid Thanksgiving Stress
By Robin Westen
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all the wonderful things in our lives, as well as a time to enjoy a delicious meal with our family. But if you’re hosting the event, it can also be a time of incredible stress. Here are some tips on how to take the anxiety out of your family get-together:
Cheat: Don't be afraid of taking the semi-homemade route. For instance, it’s not a crime to use store-bought gravy or premade cranberry sauce. Or be really fearless; order out or host a potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish.
Count to ten: Around the holidays it’s especially important to "check" yourself before reacting to a statement or suggestion that may be explosive. If you think you won't be ableo to hold back, take a break and leave the room until you’ve calmed down.
Prearrange seating: Let’s be real, not everyone is best friends with all family members all the time. Now is not the time to mediate. Simply sit them at opposite ends of the dinner table. You'll never eliminate potential conflict, but you can reduce it with advance planning.
Be frank about finances: We may not buy presents for family members on Thanksgiving, but it’s far from an inexpensive holiday. All that food costs money. Plus, Thanksgiving is actually a bigger travel day for Americans than Chanukah and Christmas. As mentioned before, one way to reduce your cost for food is to host a potluck. For travel, one way to reduce costs is to travel at off-times