The holidays are stressful for some people. Follow these rules and there’s a good chance you won’t try to strangle anyone with a chicken bone.
1 – No Politics at the Table
Yes, I know, I’m right about everything. Spewing my Libertarian dogma is not only my right – it’s also a service to those around me who are not so enlightened. However, I’ll keep my mouth shut during Thanksgiving. Or I’ll just keep it filled with pie.
Words of wisdom: no one ever said anything stupid while shoving pumpkin filling into their face.
2 – Calm Down
It’s only a meal. We’re getting together to eat food – it’s not as if it’s a meeting of the U.N. This should be a no pressure gig. Sit down, eat, and catch up with the loved ones. Simple, right? Don’t make it hard.
3 – Don’t Hurt Yourself in the Kitchen
Like I said – no pressure. You don’t have to have those perfect DIY mashed potato sculptures shaped like Daleks you saw on Pinterest, and the Thanksgiving police won’t show when people find out there’s no gluten-free gravy. Chill out. Serve everyone sandwiches if you want – you’re not a restaurant.
4 – Thank the Labor Force
If you’re not making food (some of us aren’t allowed in the kitchen), remember that those who volunteer to spend a few days cooking to provide for thirty minutes of eating deserve a medal. Treat them like it.
5 – Bury the Hatchet (in a Turkey)
You know that family member you don’t get along with? (Maybe there are few of them.) When you see them, greet them with a hearty handshake and talk like the two of you have never met. By Christmas, you’ll have forgotten why you didn’t like each other.
6 – Bring a Friend
One year, my roommate had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving; fortunately, my family didn’t mind if he tagged along with me. It was fun having someone new who didn’t know all of our stories, and he didn’t have to spend the day alone. (Also, everyone will be on their best behavior for a guest.)
7 – Be Thankful
Life is rough, but remember that there’s food on your table. Lots of us have very serious problems, but
let’s take the time to notice what we have. When life gets tough, this helps. I’ve been unemployed, but I’ve never been without the love of a church community or my friends and family. That’s not bad.
8 – Help Others.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not homeless and you might know where your next meal is coming from. Not everyone is so lucky. Consider a donation to a local charity to help those in need.
When John the Baptist was asked how people should prepare for Jesus’ coming, he said, “If you have two coats, give one to someone who doesn’t have any. If you have food, share it with someone else.“
As we prepare for the Christmas season let’s look for ways to help those around us. Even a small donation of $5 is helpful to your community charities. I give something to this group each month.
9 – Make Others Thankful You Were There
Some people don’t bring anything to the holidays besides their whining, and everyone else can’t wait for them to leave. Don’t be that person.
Tell your stories. Ask everyone how their year has gone. Bring games or movies. Think of something to add to the occasion. (It goes without saying that if you’re bringing food you don’t have to worry about this one.) A family is special because of the unique thing that everyone brings to the table.
That’s it. Enjoy yourself and relax.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)