HOW TO SURVIVE THANKSGIVING
(Or any holiday dinner for that matter)
I’ll keep it brief, y’all. Thanksgiving is good. I like Thanksgiving, now. I used to not like Thanksgiving. Why? Because there are typically one or more disagreements amongst guests, and what feels like a floodgate of criticism regarding personal life decisions. WOW! AN OVERWHELMING SENSE OF INADEQUACY, AND MASHED POTATOES!!! -.- What a fine pairing. JK LOL.
Not to worry. Thanksgiving changed dramatically for me once I got my spiritual life together and began implementing the below tips. This is a Thanksgiving Dinner Survival Guide for those subject to sibling/auntie/uncle sneak disses, or just simply feel uncomfortable or insecure when they get to a table of close family and friends. I pray that these tips help and that you enjoy a stress-free, wonderful holiday!
1. feelings. aren’t. facts.
Thanksgiving be TRIGGERING, Y’ALL! Just one seemingly simple sentence from a family member can feel like a dagger to the heart, sending you into a downward spiral mid-turkey bite. You may not have figured this out quite yet, but you have the ability to control your emotions. We tend to succumb too quickly to these negative emotions because we think we’re no match against them. In the moment, remember that:
How you feel as a result of someone’s statements, does not necessarily indicate truth. Breathe. Process. Count backward and go to the bathroom. Bye!!!
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
2. kill’em with kindness.
Be overly nice and bubbly. HAHA! You’re going to feel crazy at first. You’re going to feel sick to your stomach at the thought of saying something so nice to people you’re so used to. Even your mom whom you love. But I swear, it’s amazing after a while. This is considered “dying to the flesh”. Doing the opposite of what your natural human self wants to do. You will lift and lighten yourself. You can train yourself to genuinely exude positivity and love verbally. This is called having the fruits of the spirit. It’s also kind of harder to be an a****** to the most positive person in the room. :-)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24 ESV
3. Don’t point the finger.
Everyone’s crazy. Look in the mirror before tallying all the things that annoy you about someone. (Tit for tat never ends well.)
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:27 ESV
4. you don’t have to engage
...When prompted. You are not *obligated* to tell anyone your personal business. Unless of course, your parents are paying for your life. Then they get to probe you (to a certain extent). HAHA, again. Break-up still fresh? “You know, I’m actually not comfortable discussing that.” Thanks!!!! Bye. Great leaders are skilled in the ability to take control and say “no”. Even to family. Don’t suffer to appease someone else. You should not leave Thanksgiving dinner feeling negative and emotionally depleted.
On the day I called, You answered me;
And You made me bold and confident with [renewed] strength in my life. Psalm 138:3 AMP
5. SIMULTANEOUSLY, TRANSPARENCY WORKS.
It’s difficult to be forthcoming about flaws/life path hiccups publicly, but it’s awesome when you get to that point! Own it. There’s power in it! No shame. Yes! I just quit/or got fired from my job. But hey, s*** happens and I’m working it out. Often times it inspires others to lead with transparency as well. The difference between 5 and 4 is where you’re at and what it is. Major healing process, just happened?! Maybe chill, for now. Work, school, etc.? Try shooting for boldness! Trust that God’s behind your path. (while remaining accountable, of course)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV
6. Gratitude is powerful.
How cool, that we get to still be here on Earth. Most of you reading this have access to high-speed internet, a smartphone (hopefully iPhone 😦 jk), clean running water, Glossier...the works. just voicing a simple “I’m thankful for the gift of life and the relationships with family and friends.” Can spark light in someone’s heart. Try saying it to God, too, lol.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 107:1 NLT
7. Don’t be afraid to pray!
Use your voice. God will give you the words. Check out my How to Pray guide. You will bless someone. Also, the more you pray, the better your life is in general. Trust me! Lol.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
8. be proud of who you are.
You are awesome. You are not un-awesome because of the hardships you’ve endured, rejection, or your “failures”. Your awesomeness is not based on your performance. No I may not know you. No, this isn’t some lame canned inspo message. I know you’re awesome because God says the following, and I believe Him:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 ESV
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun tonight!!!!! Thanksgiving night is such a classic fun night! Dance, laugh, listen to your favorite music, and be merry. Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy and value the gift of life. If you have any Thanksgiving stories relating to the above, please share in the comments! :-) Happy Thanksgiving! God bless you.
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Image by Sarah Crowley