November 23, 2016
For many, Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings together friends and family who we only get to see on rare occasions. These moments may be the long-awaited chance to go home or to see loved ones. However, some of us may associate Thanksgiving with the anxiety resulting from impending controversies or disagreements between family members.
Ideally, we will all be able to share seamless communication and mutual love with the other guests at our Thanksgiving celebration, but a few small pointers can go a long way to help make that happen:
1. Remember what matters.
We cannot let the impending disagreements or looming controversies make us forget about what matters most. People matter. Relationships matter. If controversial topics arise at our Thanksgiving celebrations this year, we can remind ourselves to listen with love and respond with truth. We shouldn't shy from sharing the truth, but we should remmeber, at the same time, that we want to love people more than we want to win an argument.
No one is likely going to have a major change of opinion or deep conversion over the span of a single evening, especially if we do not share a relationship with them based on trust. This Thanksgiving, we have the opportunity to invest the people around us by being good listeners, standing up for the truth and building stronger relationships.
You may be a host this Thanksgiving. You may be a guest. Regardless of our roles, we should remember to serve. Many hosts do not want their guests serving in any manner. If we cannot bring anything or are asked to just come enjoy ourselves, we can serve by simply being open to lending a hand when appropriate. Maybe this means distracting the children while the hosts are working or offering to pour some drinks. At the very least, your host will know who to come to if they need help.
If you are hosting this holiday, you are already serving your guests in an incredible way, and the best way to complement the incredible service you are already providing is to be present to your guests, even if things did not turn out perfect or as planned.
3. Be Grateful.
This final pointer is painfully obvious, but absolutely necessary. Be grateful! Thanksgiving festivities can distract us from the very reason we all gather to celebrate. When we approach Thanksgiving Day with the humility of recognizing that we have been given so much, our entire demeanor changes. A grateful heart will make the impending controversies less threatening and the stress of preparation into a laughable temptation. By allowing our gratitude to dictate our interactions, we will hopefully set the tone for others to follow.
Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!