Tips for a Tranquil Thanksgiving

By Silva Emerian

Thanksgiving is known for great food, family time and football. Thanksgiving is also known for insane travel, family dysfunction and stress. How can we make it more like the latter and less like the former?

We can start by remembering that Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for our blessings, whether that’s our family, our health, a new job, or a roof over our heads. Remembering that the day is about giving thanks and not a perfectly-cooked turkey with all the trimmings may help take some pressure off.

Create a calm and safe setting by kid-proofing your home before guests arrive. Remove anything breakable and close doors to any areas that are off-limits. Try to keep your kitchen a kid-free zone but, just to be extra safe, keep hot food out of children’s reach and make sure pot handles are turned in and away from little hands. If you have a fireplace, be sure it’s protected by a sturdy screen. Keep all medicines out of reach and out of sight!

Focus on the kids by serving a few kids’ appetizers or food items (like fish crackers or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). Set a separate table for the kids so they can have their own space. Think about putting out a few kids’ activities—even if it’s just coloring books and puzzles—to keep them occupied until it’s time to eat or after the meal.

Kids love to get involved, so don’t be afraid to put them to work! They can help set the table or create a simple centerpiece. Perhaps they can decorate a small pumpkin for each place setting. During the meal ask them something specific that they are grateful for, and let them ask you the same.

Don’t let stress get the best of you this Thanksgiving season. With a little prep ahead of time, everyone can enjoy this very special day of the year.


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