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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Watson

Enjoy Thanksgiving With Your Family - 3 Tips To Keep Everyone in a Good Mood

Okay, let’s face it, most of our family Thanksgiving meals do not resemble a Norman Rockwell painting. There are lots of different personalities, emotions and expectations that sometimes create a lot of drama in the day.

Here are 3 tips to Survive Thanksgiving With Family and actually enjoy and create some meaningful memories.

Let Go of Expectations:

You know that Aunt Mary and Uncle Henry are always late so don’t expect today to be any different. Either tell them to arrive 30 to 45 minutes earlier than you want them to arrive or just start without them.

Likewise, do not sit two relatives next to each other that you know do not get along. That is just asking for trouble. Remember when mom used to sit between you and your brother to keep things calm. Just because we have grown up doesn’t mean that everybody is going to be on their best behavior


Chances are, you will forget to do something, or the turkey will be a little on the dry side or the souffle will fall. No one will remember any of this. What they will remember is how you reacted.

If you don’t make a big deal out of it, nobody else will either. After all Thanksgiving is about family and connecting with those you care about, the turkey and sides are just what the people of Louisiana call “lagniappe”

Table the Heavy Discussions

Politics and other potentially explosive topics need to be banned. When you get a large group of people together, especially family, different beliefs can often explode into arguments.

People pick up on the energy and emotions of others.

This is especially true of dementia patients. While someone with dementia may not be able to fully understand what people are discussing, they will react to the emotions around them. Make sure there is a quiet place to bring a relative with dementia if the energy of the day becomes too overwhelming.

Make a Gratitude Tree

Draw a Tree on Construction paper and Tape it to a wall. Assign one or a few of the children to manage the tree.

As someone arrives, the child will give them a post it note to write something they are grateful for that happened to them this year.

Then before starting to eat, someone will read all of the notes, reminding everyone to focus on what is good.

Pat Mack has been helping families make the right decisions to care for someone they love since 1997.

Email her today for more information.

Or Give us a call today and come for a tour.


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