Almost everyone does some Thanksgiving cooking, but why not change the menu a bit? Spice it up. Add something new. Increase the variety.
How about cooking up a huge batch of connectedness? Share family stories. Invite people to tell about their favorite Thanksgiving. Get people to work in teams on a treasure hunt. Have everyone put what they are thankful for on a file card. Collect them and read them aloud. Have people guess who wrote each one as they are read.
Peel the skins off your grievances and put them in the garbage disposal. Still angry about something someone did two years ago? It’s time to let it go. Upset because someone else did something you didn’t agree with? It’s time to peel off the layers of that and begin again.
Don’t allow judgment to stew in its own juices all day. Work on changing your mind rather than changing others. Let your judgment chill out in the refrigerator.
Serve the sustenance in the right order. Lead with empathy first. Solving problems, fixing things, and making amends can come later, after the important hors d’oeuvre of empathy is dished out in ample amounts.
Don’t allow resentment to boil over. Ask for help if you need it. Invite others to take an active role in cooking and cleaning up. Don’t give something that has the hidden price of resentment attached to it. When you give, give with an open heart.
Liberally add doses of language that affirm and uplift. Verbally appreciate, send affection, and offer acknowledgment. Isn’t it time to add some food for the soul?
How about serving up some Grade A conversation? Eliminate gossip and talking about others in a negative way. When you improve the quality of the conversation, you improve the quality of our lives.
Refuse to mash what is there. Whatever is there, let that be what you want. What is, is. To emotionally demand something else will burn your energy and darken your attitude.
Serve up one meaningful thing this day that helps someone enjoy a better moment, a better day, or a better life. You are the chef and the server. You get to decide what you feed your family and friends on this particular day.
Prepare Thanksgiving from a get to rather than a have to attitude. You get to go grocery shopping. You don’t have to. You get to see relatives and friends. You get to watch all the kids interact and learn lessons about cooperation and sharing, or not.
Let Thanksgiving simmer slowly. Don’t turn it into a microwave experience. There is no need for hurry up this day. Savor it.
Above all else, cook, talk, eat, relax, play, listen, entertain, clean up, pray, and share appreciation with love in your heart. You are worth it. And so is your family.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
This article was adapted from a column written by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller. They are two leading authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free Uncommon Parenting blog: www.uncommon-parenting.com.