When you think of the very first Thanksgiving meal and how strange it must have been with the pilgrims and the Indians- sharing food with enemies and trying to create harmony ( At least, your Thanksgiving probably won’t be that, but if it is, you can get through that too:).
I’ve been divorced now for almost 18 years. Those first holidays were so hard and felt so strange.
If you are in that place this year, just know that it WILL GET better. You WILL get it figured out. You may be dreading or worried about the holiday. Instead, stop to give thanks for everything YOU DO HAVE this holiday season.
Family dynamics often change during holidays including cranky kids and family members who may add a new dynamic.
What to do?
-Make sure to exercise early in the day, so your body and mind are more relaxed.
-Practice saying something that will allow you to get through strange moments like “oh well, we are all doing the best we can!”
-And try to enjoy the meaning of Thanksgiving and lay off the expectations of it being perfect. You will enjoy the small, sweet moments and there are lots of them.
Being thankful is the only requirement on Thanksgiving Day. You can do that any where, anytime and anyplace– with or without anyone.
Some years, my husband and I had all of our brood together plus grandparents, enjoying a hodge podge of food and fun. As a stepfamily, everyone comes from different traditions and food choices or none at all, so that can make it hard. Our children didn’t like the same food.
So I started asking each family member what they would like to eat and help make for our Thanksgiving meal. While we had turkey and stuffing, we also had spaghetti and lime green jello. Anything went on our Thanksgiving table if someone wanted it there.
After dinner, everyone was assigned a chore- pick up dishes, clear the table, sweep the floor, etc., so that no one was stuck in the kitchen.
Other years, when our children were with their other parents, we’ve taken a trip. Yes, we miss our kids, but we are thankful that while they are not with us, they are alive and kicking in this world.
If you are not having your kids this Thanksgiving- try to enjoy your time alone, make a plan for the Thanksgiving day, and do whatever you think is fun….
Let this be a Thanksgiving where you practice thanks to God and those around you.
If there is one thing I’ve learned, there is ALWAYS more to be grateful for than you think there is…. no matter where you are in your journey in life.
Happy, happy, happy Thanksgiving.