How to Set the Emotional Table for Thanksgiving

Your flights have been paid for and now all that’s left to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday is gearing up to spend time with your relatives.

For many people this is an exciting time, and for many more it is an anxious and stressful one.  With families come emotional buttons that have been embedded for years and are visible only to a select few.  This can affect the depth and tone of how we communicate with those who have impacted our lives the most.  Add to this the expectations of having the perfect family holiday and it is no wonder Thanksgiving is often disappointing.

The essence of Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our many blessings, not the least of which are the important relationships in our lives. So could you proactively set the table for a loving and grateful holiday?  What if this may be the last Thanksgiving some of you spend together?  Regardless of your motivation, you can increase the prospects of having a most enjoyable holiday with your family by doing only one thing in advance.  Express profound gratitude.

Here are the very simple steps that will could an enormous impact on how much more relaxed you feel with loved ones.

  1. Make a list of the people you will be seeing who have made a real difference in your life.
  2. Write down bullet points of the contributions each of them have made and how it has impacted you.
  3. Express these sentiments to them – in a letter, email, call, poem, conversation, etc.

To help you in this 3-step process, download the Free Guide to Creating Your Own Gratitude Conversations by signing in at the bottom of the  website.

What better way to set the table for a relaxing and appreciative holiday than telling people how much they mean to you.  There is no need to bring up past grievances, just share what you love about them, to them and for them.  It is not who they are that matters the most, it is how they have impacted you that is the premise of these conversations.  You will be amazed at how great you feel and how easier family gatherings can be when people are in a state of gratitude.

An alternative to communicating in advance would be to plan to a one-on-one conversation with your life influencers.  If you choose this approach, make sure you have this discussion in a quiet place so that you both can get and give your full attention to each other.  You may want to record the conversation so that you can save it and savor it for the future.  Have someone take a picture of the two of you together and capture the memory of this moment.

I would love to hear how your conversations went or how expressing profound gratitude changed the tone of your Thanksgiving holiday.  Please share them either below in the Comments section or  privately by submitting them on the Share Your Story page of this website.

For more information about how to have these powerful gratitude conversations, check out my book, This is the Moment.  Consider writing a personal inscription inside the cover and presenting it as a special gift or hostess gift.

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