Surviving Thanksgiving

I love the holiday season. For me, it isn’t about the gifts, the glitter or big sales. For me it is about all the sappy stuff. The time with family, the good moods, the great conversations and the quality time spent with other people.

Dessert Time

I hate an empty house on the holidays so we have an open invitation to our family that they are always invited down for Thanksgiving. Sometimes they come. Sometimes they go elsewhere. The above photo is from our house last year as we were dishing out dessert.

This Thursday my parents, little brown brother (Abe the Chocolate lab), sisters, aunt, cousin and their husky puppy Aero will be coming down. It’ll send my house into complete chaos as it fills with the smells of the turkey roasting and the sounds of the first holiday music on the stereo. Yes, we have a ban on our house of holiday music not being allowed before Thanksgiving and we always play Alice’s Restaurant at least once for my dad. (As an aside, if you need some new holiday music I highly suggest Allison Crowe’s Tidings.)

The key to successfully surviving a holiday like this is to be able to laugh. My family is not the norm I know. We all get along. We enjoy spending time together and actually look forward to it. Sure, every once and a while someone will drive someone else nuts, but for the most part it’s all good.

But, what if you don’t like spending time with your family and have to? Here are some tips that should help you get through it without becoming an outcast.

  • Be Like A Duck
    Ducks let water run off them all the time. You don’t have to react to every little thing. Let the snide remark or stupid comment just roll off you like water and move on. Save your reactions for the big ones.
  • Get Outside
    A hot kitchen and a room full of people can get to anyone. Mini cabin fever sets in and that won’t help anyone’s mood. If things are getting for you, put on a jacket and go for a walk. The fresh air will do you good and give you time to fume away from the masses.
  • Drink, But Don’t Get Drunk
    Just like at the office holiday party a drink can loosen things up, but the last thing you want to do is get overly drunk and do something stupid. We all know that we make bad decisions after too many drinks. This is worse when you are with family so be smart about it.
  • Be Helpful
    You’d be amazed how much good will you will get when you offer to help set the table, assist in the kitchen or take on the smallest of tasks. Just understand that if you are told to, “get out of the kitchen” that is exactly what it means. Nothing drives the cook more crazy then everyone ignoring that statement. Trust me I know since I am usually the cook!
  • Just Because You Have a Mouth, You Don’t Need to Use It
    Learning to bite your tongue is a crucial skill for getting through life. Just because someone does something stupid, says something inappropriate or is acting like a complete idiot doesn’t mean you have to respond. When this happens just quietly ignore it and move on. You’ll thank me later for that.

I’ve got to go pick up my turkey from Out Post Farm tomorrow and I can’t wait. I wished there was a way to capture the magical smell of pies that fill their shop every year. Absolutely amazing.

I hope that each and every one of you has a happy and fun filled Thanksgiving. What other tips would you give for holiday survival?

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C.C. Chapman is the Founder of Digital Dads and the Author of Content Rules. He is a family first entrepreneur with two great kids (a boy and a girl) who loves the outdoors, cooking, photography and playing with technology. He consults with companies around the globe to help them embrace the new world of marketing and business. C.C. is a sought after speaker, photographer and content creator who looks forward to each day as a new adventure.

7 Responses to “Surviving Thanksgiving”

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  2. Jennifer Iannolo Says:

    Since our holiday house is typically filled with 20+ people, I know going in that it’s going to be loud (we’re Italian), chaotic and at times overwhelming. I pour a cocktail and take it in stride, and try to spend as much time giving out hugs and kisses as I possibly can.

    We let out the after-dinner stress with full-contact board games. :)

    Wishing you and yours a magnificent Turkey Day, C.C.!

  3. Jennifer Iannolo Says:

    Since our holiday house is typically filled with 20+ people, I know going in that it’s going to be loud (we’re Italian), chaotic and at times overwhelming. I pour a cocktail and take it in stride, and try to spend as much time giving out hugs and kisses as I possibly can.

    We let out the after-dinner stress with full-contact board games. :)

    Wishing you and yours a magnificent Turkey Day, C.C.!

  4. PJ Mullen Says:

    Great stuff C.C., unfortunately being all the way down here we don’t have big family thanksgivings like we used to. It’ll just be the three of us and my mom, but it will still be a good time.

  5. PJ Mullen Says:

    Great stuff C.C., unfortunately being all the way down here we don’t have big family thanksgivings like we used to. It’ll just be the three of us and my mom, but it will still be a good time.

  6. Boston Mamas Says:

    The sappy stuff is the good stuff! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it focuses on food, personal connection, and gratitude instead of material things. An open door policy is perfect. :-)

  7. Boston Mamas Says:

    The sappy stuff is the good stuff! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it focuses on food, personal connection, and gratitude instead of material things. An open door policy is perfect. :-)

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