Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tips for a Happy Turkey Day

We are all busy today either making dishes, traveling, or spending time with loved ones.  It's a time to be grateful for what we have.  In reflecting upon the things we do have, we can also be aware of how we can make those around us the happiest and be as considerate as possible during this busy holiday season.

-consider your dress.  If you are attending someone's home, step it up a notch, it shows respect for your host letting them know that you appreciate all the effort they went to on your behalf.

-Say thanks.  Of course we will all say this during the meal, after, many times perhaps.  But remembering to write a note, a text (if you must-at the least) or a phone call after the fact to let them know how much you appreciate all the work they went to, is so appreciated and thoughtful.

-Be punctual.  Arrive and leave on time.  When your host tells you the time to arrive, pay attention and respect it.  There is a reason they have told you that time and it shows respect to be punctual.  We all run into traffic, snags with family, work, etc.  But if you do, call to let them know you are running behind and that you will be there shortly.  Know when it's time to leave.  If you are staying at your hosts home, agree ahead of time when you will be leaving and don't overstay your welcome, no matter how badly your host begs...there's always next time.  It's better to be wanted than to overstay your welcome.

-Avoid awkward and painful topics- especially in families.  This isn't family therapy.  It's not the time to talk about how you wish mom hadn't worked when you were little.  It's a time to talk about what you're grateful for and leave your problems at the door with your coat.  Pick another time to talk about things that are heavy, group gatherings are not the time.

-Offer to help clean up.  Most of the time the host has gone to a lot of work to prepare; cleaning, cooking, etc.  Offer to pitch in and do some dishes.  Roll up your sleeves and dig in.


-Assign tasks.  Don't be afraid to ask people to bring something.  Or if you are cooking the meal yourself, have your guests help with taking coats, setting the table, lighting candles, last minute details.

-Leave distractions in your room or office.  This is not the time to text or have the game on.  Turn off the TV and FB.  Be the gracious host I know you can be and enjoy the guests you have invited over, sit down, be engaging, ask more questions and listen more than you talk.

-Be aware and flexible.  If you are inviting a larger group of people and someone says, "I would come but Jim is spending the holiday alone."- say, "well bring him with you!"  Be gracious, it never hurts to invite one more, but you will always regret not doing so.

-Say thank you.  Your guests if you look around, are your loved ones.  Thank them for taking the time and effort to come and share time with you and loving you.  Always thank them.

-Have a flexible menu.  You may have gluten free requests, people who want to bring things even when you have the entire menu planned.  Be prepared to allow for those things and don't be so stringent.  Accept all offers for special diet accommodations.

Above all the holidays are a time to celebrate, to forgive, to come together.  I personally am not one who likes to hold grudges, have arguments that I cannot resolve, or problems that I cannot fix.  I love the feeling of peace and joy that the holiday season brings knowing that I can come together with as many loved ones who will have me and celebrate all that we have to be grateful for.

I hope that this holiday season brings all of you the same peace and joy and I look forward to bringing you some more fun tidbits here and there as the months continue.

My two cents.

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