November 01, 2022 3 min read

Holidays are the best, that said, they can also bring out the best and the worst in people, particularly around the Thanksgiving table. We’ve all been there, navigating both happy and awkward moments… Mom’s disappointment after spending hours in the kitchen making a not-so-perfect turkey. An aunt who inevitably gets tipsy after one glass of wine. Grandpa complaining about his aches and pains. That noisy cousin who’s always good for a laugh. The socially awkward in-law. And why are you always seated at the kid’s table?

Family. We can’t choose them. They drive us crazy, but we still love them. With Thanksgiving and family celebrations around the corner, here are a few tips for avoiding drama.  

1. Hope for the Best. Plan for the Worst. 

Don't let unexpected mishaps ruin the party. Fond memories are more important.

Photo credit: CottonBro

Spilled drinks, a broken vase, last-minute guests, hurt feelings, silly arguments—they happen. The best approach is to take things in stride and minimize disruptions. Anticipate mishaps and emotional triggers, try not to take sides and help diffuse tense situations, if and when they bubble up.

    2. Help Things Along. Start a Conversation.

    Conversation starters and topics help put guests, especially new ones, more at ease.

    Photo credit: Nicole Mishalou

    If the goal is for everyone to have a good time, prepare a few topics to help start a conversation, put newcomers at ease or steer the conversation in a more inclusive direction. Avoid polarizing topics and opt instead for good humor and kindness.


    3. Place Cards! 

    Designated seat assignments help ensure everyone has a good time around the table.

    Photo credit: Mat Brown

    Never underestimate the genius of seat assignments. They help prevent disagreements, cliques and gives outsiders the opportunity to bond. Place people who rub each other the wrong way at opposite ends of the table, or at separate tables. Seat a shy person next to someone who's easy to talk to or great at putting others at ease. 

      4. Set a Kid’s Table. So Kids Can Be Kids.

      Kids enjoy time with their cousins. Mix it up, seat young kids with older kids just for fun.

      Some adult conversations around the table, may not always be appropriate for kids, especially for impressionable or sensitive children. Give the kids their own space to be themselves, chat and have fun. Set up tables so younger cousins can bond with older ones or make friends with new guests. 

      5. Stop Fussing and Put the Game On!

      Football and Thanksgiving go hand in hand as a family tradition.

      Photo credits: Joe Calomeni & Jeshoots.com

      Turkey, pumpkin pie and football. They go hand in hand. In fact, the holiday tradition took off back in 1934, when the Detroit Lions hosted the unbeaten Chicago Bears in a game broadcast nationally on the radio. Since then, high-school, college and pro games on big-screen TVs have become a staple at Thanksgiving celebrations. So don't fight it. Embrace it, turn on the game. 

      6. A Little Planning Goes a Long Way.

       Keep things interesting with video games, corn hole and other games kids of all ages can enjoy.

      Photo credit: Lil Artsy

      Set times (and expectations) for socializing, meal prep, and dinner. Cover downtime by providing inside and outdoor activities to help prevent boredom and engage guests. Plan activities where adults and kids can participate, such as tag football, corn hole tournaments, board games, cards, or charades.

      7. Make Room for Socializing and Fun.

      Take the celebration outside no matter the weather. Pop-up WeatherPod tents provide shade or warmth. 

      Move furniture to make room for visitors, designate the tv room and basement for watching sports or video gaming, and set up canopies, or even better, pop-up WeatherPod® tents for hanging out outside, even if the weather turns cold or damp.

      8. Most Important, Be Thankful.

      This holiday worry less about the things you can't control. Instead, celebrate all the good things you've experienced over the last year.

      Photo credit: Monsterra

      Focus on the good things, share what you’re thankful for, and invite everyone around the table to join in. You’ll be surprised how a little gratitude can lift spirits and bring people together.

      Once the celebration is underway, it’s best to take a deep breath and let go of expectations. 

      This is the time for celebrating family and friends, taking stock, and acknowledging all the blessings of the year gone by. And even brief moments of chaos can make the holiday more memorable. So sit back, relax and take it all in. Happy Thanksgiving!

       

       

       


      Leave a comment

      Comments will be approved before showing up.


      Also in UTW Blog

      Hacks for a Stress-Free Holiday Gift List
      Hacks for a Stress-Free Holiday Gift List

      October 31, 2022 4 min read

      Halloween Trivia and Wicked Good Ideas
      Halloween Trivia and Wicked Good Ideas

      September 28, 2022 4 min read

      Fun Facts about Labor Day and Workplace Safety Tips
      Fun Facts about Labor Day and Workplace Safety Tips

      August 31, 2022 4 min read