Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday shared with family and friends, where we gather together and prepare more food than we’ll ever eat in a day, giving thanks for each other and our good fortune. Also, football.
Did you see how we said supposed there? That’s because most of us set high expectations for a special, Pinterest-worthy family holiday, then end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed and disappointed that our fantasy Thanksgiving didn’t happen the way we we planned and hoped it would.
Lots of things can get in the way of a meaningful celebration at Thanksgiving - distracting screens and devices, travel schedules, family dynamics, the pressure from movies and TV to be the “perfect” family, and especially this year, the political differences which have us all anxious and defensive.
No family is perfect, we all have our issues, feuds, history, and personalities. The great thing about celebrating Thanksgiving is that once a year we get to show up, suit up, and share a weekend with the people we were born to love and drive crazy! Remember, a little grace and laughter will go a long way, especially if everyone agrees to lower their expectations and set a relaxed tone from the get go. Here are some of our favorite ways to make Thanksgiving sillier, yummier, and easier on everyone.
- Invite a few friends who are not traveling or who don’t have family close by. This is a two-fold gift - firstly, you get to provide a family style dinner for a friend who might otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving, and 2) your own family members will probably be better behaved with a newcomer at the table. No-one really likes to make a scene in front of someone they just met, right?
- Cook together - that’s right, get everyone involved! The kitchen is the heart of our home and often where the most fun goes down. Have even the youngest kids help out - how else will they learn the secrets to favorite family recipes? Sharing the preparation of the Thanksgiving meal will bring you together and encourage feelings of gratitude and togetherness for everyone.
- Make it comfortable - stock your home with extra seating, slippers, towels, and a serve yourself drink and snack cart with lots of options for all ages. Encourage your guests and family to make themselves at home, go easy on the scheduling, and give people a cozy place to retreat to if they want a moment to themselves or a post-dinner nap. This cute kid’s table and chairs can be used again for play dates and crafting, and a sleeper sofa in the guest room works double duty for saving space.
- Go for a walk - we usually get out for a walk in the late morning on Thanksgiving. Now that we have a farm to care for, we enjoy the brisk air and make sure the animals are fed and happy before we set out. For those without a farm, find a nearby nature trail and ask the kids to collect colorful leaves, acorns, and sticks to create a rustic centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.
Whether you’re hosting a potluck Friendsgiving or a sit down family dinner, we hope this Thanksgiving holiday is full of love, laughter, great food, and...football. Let us know how we can help you bring family and Thanksgiving home on our next IKEA run. Need help selecting or want to come by and see us before the holidays? Our showroom is open 9am-6pm every day except Sunday. Happy Thanksgiving!