Answers

By   •   November 5, 2013   •   Topics:

Q:

We have a large extended family, and since we have the biggest house, everyone always comes here for get-togethers. But that means I have to do most of the work, and frankly, it's a real burden. I'm already dreading Thanksgiving. Any suggestions?


A:

The time to prepare for any holiday that promises to be stressful is long before it ever happens, and that includes Thanksgiving (which is, I know, still a few weeks away). You should prepare for this special day physically, emotionally and spiritually.

First, prepare physically; that is, do as much as you can in advance. You know better than I what this might involve, but the goal is to avoid being overwhelmed at the last minute. Make lists of what you’ll need to do and when. If you can bake or freeze anything in advance, do it. And don’t feel like you have to handle everything; get some of your relatives to help you, if they don’t already.

Then prepare emotionally. You know the stresses you’ll probably face on the holiday; set aside time to be alone and find moments of calm. Make prayer a part of your preparation also, asking God to keep you from getting upset if things don’t go quite the way you planned. In addition, take time to reconnect with those you don’t see regularly; some of them may not be around next year.

Finally, prepare spiritually by making these weeks leading up to the holiday a time of true thanksgiving. God has given us so much, and we can be so ungrateful. Above all, give thanks for God’s greatest gift — the gift of His Son. The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

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108 Comments

  1. Jose Cherian says:

    Like some one else has commented earlier. You are so lucky you DO have a large house. Kindly remember there are MILLIONS of people who do not have a roof above their heads.

    Have a wonderful time, dear!

  2. K Lee says:

    Thanksgiving was a most difficult day most of my early life as I was searching for what I was actually thankful for. At 22 years old I went to church to meet a man…. and I found the man of my dreams, JESUS CHRIST!! It has certainly not been perfect since I became a born again Christian in 1980, but, I KNOW that if it were not for CHRIST my LORD and SAVIOR I would still be searching for why I was born and what did I have to be thankful for. Here is the SECRET TO A THANKFUL HEART IF YOU WANT IT, otherwise ignore it and you will be overwhelmed HERE IT IS!! Give praise to God every day the minute you open your eyes and shout praises to His name every morning! Just keep shouting Praise the Lord!! Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!! It may seem odd at first but, it will beat the blues and then claim his promises!! THIS DAY WILL BE THE BEST THANKSGIVING EVER!! I WILL HAVE THE BEST THANKSGIVING DAY EVER!! or whatever day it is! It may sound silly but I know it works from my own personal testimony!! My life is not perfect but MY GOD IS!!

    PS Please remember to pray for our soldiers and their precious families here in America and abroad. I am a mother of 2 fine sons who were soldiers. One came home, but is still missing from our family. The other is still searching and finding his way. Never give up!! Never give up!! Never give up!! Thankfulness is an attitude of gratitude but happiness will come and go. My heart thankfully waits for God with my arms open wide waiting upon Him to bring them to Him and bring them home to us. God Bless You! PRAISE THE LORD!! :)

  3. Fran Kunz says:

    Thanksgiving has become a tuff holiday for me. Over the years my faith through Christ has become very visible & audible to my family. Even though many profess some sort of closet belief system, they often find it amusing to disagree with me on almost anything. The fact I’m able to out-logic them with a Biblical common sense further confounds them. This attitude comes mostly from my nephews & sometimes their wives.

    Last year one of my sisters told me my nephews don’t even want to talk to/be around me. Then a few months later I was informed that our family Thanksgiving get-together was being held in Chicago by my nephew, who happens to be the furthest away from where I live. My wife & I chose to stay home with our children.

    In the meantime there have been more insults/attacks against my wife & I based solely on our Christian principles, in particular our stance against gay marrages. That lead to some very harsh words on facebook & some un-friending of family members. At christmas the air was quite stale in my opinion, but at least it was close to home for me so we could bail if needed.

    Last week I got a phone call once again informing me my wife & I had been omitted from the planning & T-Day would again be held in Chicago. I’ve tried to politely explain how its un-economical & to tuff of a trip for our children without dumping the deep details on them. ( I want to enjoy some family time not be held captive far from home in hostile territory.)
    Its my prayer that they can enjoy the day without us (again), Although I love & miss them I would not want our presence to be the reason they feel they can’t enjoy themselves. I also do not want them distracting us from our walk either. I have so much to be thankful for I’d rather be able to do it in relative peace. Maybe I’m the white sheep of the family?

    I

  4. olivia says:

    Iam a widowed but i spend all thanksgiving, Christmas etc with my husband,but he died on 9/11/12 now iam all alone, i loved to cook and that was never a problem for me, we have 2 children my son moved to seattle he was always there for us but now he lives too far,and my daughter will she lives 98 miles away she’s married with 3child and so that’s life our children grow and leave and some forget their parent and others or there forever, like my son bless his heart calls me or text me 3 times a day everyday and always sees to what i need, now i missed me not cooking, but i praise god for he is with me always and i give thanks for our children and for the blessings our lord has given our son, and our daughter for having been bless with 3 children who i love our grandbabies too bad grandpa was called too early to be with our father in heaven, we miss him and every holiday he will not be forgotten, so please enjoyed ur family’s and parent’s while you still can amen to our Lord and thank you for your blessing

  5. Melody says:

    I lost my husband 3 months ago and I am finding it very hard to face the upcoming holidays. I wish I could just by pass the holidays all together and sleep through them. I know my husband is in heaven dancing with the angels free from the pain of the cancer. However, that doesn’t take the pain of losing him away from me.

  6. Clara LoPerfido says:

    For those feeling lonely and sad during the holidays, for the lost of your loved ones, may you find refuge and consolation in God our Father and “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of all mercies, and the God of all confort…” (2Cor. 1:3-4).
    Happy Thanksgiving! Clara

  7. Janice says:

    I read many of the thoughts and concerns expressed here tonight and I am going to pray for all of you. It hurts my heart to see so many people who are lonely and isolated. My children and I have visited nursing homes in the past to visit friends and my older son remarked more than once, he was glad he did as he recognized their search for nothing more than attention from others. It was an education for him. Loneliness is contagious experience. With that being said, there are thousands of people in such facilities who would probably like to have someone to talk to, just to listen to them… It takes some effort to engage, but the reward is refreshed appreciation: we more blessed than we think. We can think and make decisions for ourselves, provide for our needs, walk, talk and interact with others as the Lord has guided & provided. I will pray for you tonight. Every single one of you. May you all be blessed and recognize Thanksgiving for the simple word it is.

  8. Albert says:

    As the last member of my family I have good memories and lots of photos of past Thanksgivings. Just try to share a Thanksgiving Blessing with others you meet each day. That by itself is a special treat.

  9. LINDA NICOLAI says:

    SINCE 1978, WHEN I LOST MY HUSBAND TO CANCER AND MY 14 Y/O DAUGHTER WAS IN A COMA FROM A BICYCLE ACCIDENT WHICH TORE HER EAR OFF AND BROKE HER LEG, AND SHE WAS IN A COMA FOR 31 DAYS, WHEN SHE CAME OUT OF THE COMA SHE COULD NEITHER WALK TALK, OR FEED HERSELF. SHE HAD TO BE TRANSFERRED BY AMBULANCE TO A REHAB HOSPITAL IN TULSA FOR 3 MONTHS. MY HUSBAND HAD TO RE-ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE HIS MOTHER WAS UNABLE TO FEED H IM THROUGH A STOMACH TUBE OR GIVE HIM HIS SHOTS.. I HAD HIM IN ONCOLOGY AND MY DAUGHTER IN ICU. WHEN SHE CAME OUT OF COMA SHE HAD TO BE TRANSFERRED TO A TULSA REHAB HOSPITAL. SHE RECOVERED PRETTY WELL.. IN 1980 MY FATHER DIED. IN 1983 DAUGHTER WHO HAD ACCIDENT IN 1978. FELL FROM A CAR AND HAD THE SAME MASSIVE HEAD INJURIES ,PLUS OTHERS SHE LIVED 6 DAYS AND DIED. LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME I LOST MY 53 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER IN MY ARMS FROM AN ASTHMA ATTACK.. SO I CAN UNDERSTAND THE DEEPP FEELINGGS OF LOSS BUT I JUST REMEMBER THAT GOD WILL NEVER GIVE ME MORE THAN I CAN TAKE. AND THAT I CAN DO ALL THIINGS THROOUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTH ME