You’re praying that this year will be different. You’re exited to see most of your family, but there is that one person who gets under your skin and ruins the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving you plan and prepare for every year.
All families have them…
The sister who’s critical and competitive.
The aunt married to your mother’s brother who insists on telling you how to raise your children.
The grandparent who has to tell the same unpleasant story every holiday.
The child who whines and won’t eat anything on the table.
The uncle who finds it necessary to argue about everything and anything.
The ____________________________. (You fill in the blank.)
You’re blood-pressure is rising just reading about them isn’t it. You know you have someone in mind . . . that difficult family member who frays your last nerve and makes you wonder if it’s all worth the effort.
Here are a few tips I’ve gathered that just might help:
- Cover the day with prayer – Start now. Pray for each person by name and ask the Lord to bless your time together. Take it a step further and ask him to bless them, too.
Make table assignments – If you know that Uncle George doesn’t get along with Aunt Patsy put them at opposite ends of the table. Let the kids make those cute holiday place card holders.
Keep everyone busy – Give them jobs before the meal, and plan a game or project for later in the day. Have the children take photos or make place-mats. Set up your Christmas tree without the ornaments – and let them decorate it while you are in the kitchen. You can always move them around later if you don’t like the placement.
Invite someone new – Inviting someone who is alone for the holiday, it helps to keep everyone on their best behavior. (I have a friend who does this and says it works like magic.)
Write, I’m thankful for you because notes – Place each person’s name at the top of a piece of paper. Without signing any names have each family member write down one or two reasons why they are thankful for them. Read them aloud at the end of the day – and gift each person with their list to take home.
Would you add anything?
What are your favorite ways to help your family get along?
Do you establish any rules going into the day?
I am praying you enjoy a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. We have so many reasons to praise the Lord for all He has done for us. Remember He chose your parents and siblings. He did it for a reason. Embrace the lessons as well as the blessings.
Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. Ephesians 1:4-6 (NLT)
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