With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of you may be planning to get together as a family for the holiday. For some, family gatherings are a source of warmth and joy, for others, tension and disappointment. How can you prepare for a Thanksgiving that will nurture yourself as well as your family?
Holidays and family dynamics have long been a meaty subject for the entertainment industry. The motion picture "Avalon" addressed the long-term damage that can result when resentments festering below the surface spill out onto the Thanksgiving table. The uncle was hurt and insulted that "you cut the turkey?!" without him and his wife sharing the moment with the others. His anger clouded the family relationships for many years after. How can you control your words and actions so that they don't have negative effects long after Thanksgiving is over?
Can you concentrate on the positive ways that your family touches and supports each other? April, a young adult in the film "Pieces of April," is explaining the origins of Thanksgiving to an immigrant family. "Once there was this one day where everybody seemed to know they needed each other. This one day when they knew for certain that they couldn't do it alone." Although April's family had many dysfunctional elements, they came together on Thanksgiving to support and care for each other. How does each member of your family relate to and sustain one another?
Instead of focusing on the difficulties and negatives, reflect on the blessings of your family. The adult daughter in "Home for the Holidays" said, when she was describing her feelings: "We don't have to like each other. We're family." Enjoy your family and a Thanksgiving full of emotional as well as physical nourishment!