Thanksgiving. It’s the day when friends and families gather to cook the perfect meal. No stress there! I wrote an entire book on how to make these times go smoothly. If you have not yet read it, let me share a few thoughts:

Learn how to change the conversation. People will dis your food; old uncle Henry will not stop talking about something either real or imaginary; someone will insult someone else, either intentionally or not; you will be asked the seventh time about X. Take the high road, smile, and change the subject. If you do this smoothly it will hardly be noticed. If you do it purposefully, firmly but politely, better yet – they will get the message!

Eat what you are served. Unless you are a v-guest and a non-meat eater or religion forbids the eating of say, broccoli, don’t make a fuss that the turkey is a tad over-cooked. Had your heart set on pumpkin pie but only get sweet potato? Don’t worry. You can get the pumpkin on the way home if absolutely required. I publicly admit that turkey is not my favorite, so if I am hosting I cook that plus some other meat so if I am a guest I nibble and enjoy lots of sides!

Go with the flow. My parents were hosting Thanksgiving one year and my husband, while attempting to carve the bird, watched in horror as it slipped (cutting board and all) onto the floor. We all actually laughed. For the first minute, anyway. I was hosting lots of family one year and the power went off with the bird in the oven. Stayed off for five hours. We made do with candles, wine and lots of cold sides. My sister-in-law rose to the occasion and instead of making me feel bad, helped make it an adventure.

Engage the kidlets with the older folks. This is important. Remember that your children will treat you as they see you treating your parents. I say no more! (Except to suggest that you tell the children that electronic gadgets are only allowed for a one hour window, like 4-5 pm or something.)

Final thoughts. Your loved ones are at the table, not on your FB page. For those who can’t make it send photos later. Of course family times come with a bit of stress. There are none which are perfect. But enjoy your loved ones, with all their imperfections. We are only on the planet for a short time and only get so many of these special days together. So give thanks for what we do have, what makes us the individuals we are and remember to smile when you want to say an unkind word, or laugh over the mishap. Hug everyone at least once and be thankful both in your heart and on your lips.

Please share with us about your day, your preparations, your concerns or your joys.

Love and Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy