By   •   November 5, 2013   •   Topics:


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?


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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  1. gaile says:

    I do not have family. but jesus has let me have my life,, so I am happy to be living.

  2. Sue Davenport says:

    I have bipolar and I struggle with an anxiety disorder. I am no longer able to handle the stress of preparing a meal for Thanksgiving, however there is a church in my community that makes a thanksgiving meal for people who do not have any family to share the holiday with. I know that I still have many things to be thankful for; For life and breath, for God’s great love, knowing that He watches over me and cares for me.
    Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me thy great salvation so rich and so free. — Sue

  3. Adegbenga says:

    As this year winds up, I am glad I can look back to thank God for His loving kindness and mercies. He is our God both on the mountain and in the valley. I have known much pain from bereavement this year but God has kept me and my family strong. We all should have thankful hearts always.

  4. Jason George says:

    Thank you for this perspective. I have been struggling with gratitude and unresolved anger toward family members. Please pray for me that I will lead my family with a spirit of gratitude for Jesus Christ and all that he has blessed us with.

  5. Don Roberson says:

    Start by sharing your loving anticipation with every family and friend who will be with you. Do this person to person and not by a group letter or e Mail or e greeting card. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you words to match the individual feelings.

  6. Gwyn says:

    Count your many blessings. Name them one by one. Life is brief. Forgive anyone who has offended you. Be thankful in all things and be a blessing to others.

  7. Jack L woltz says:

    Thanksgiving Is A BLESSED TIME of the year, WE group our family, friends, and sometimes people we don’t know there names, But GOD KNOWS, ALL NAMES, We need to be GREATFUL, as well as THANKFUL, It is A time, of Fellowship, Friendship, And A time to show LOVE to our Brothers and Sisters IN JESUS CHRIST, our SAVIOR, REDEEMER, And our DOOR WAY TO HEAVEN, If some dOUROo not know CHRIST, It is A SPECIAL time to present the WORD OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST HIS SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, We need to help where we can, We also need to PRAY, For those Who have so little and some who do not have any, Our hearts CRY OUT TO THEM WHO WE CAN NOT HELP, But we can PRAY, TO GOD, HE WILL FIND A WAY, BLESSINGS FROM GOD, Are extra and SPECIAL, This time of the year,

  8. Demetrice Forrest says:

    Instead of complaining you do not get help or receive help. Mention it to some of your family members that it would be nice if they could help you afterwards clean up. You are very bless to have a family that can meet at least once a year. I do not have that pleasure. Since, my father died four years ago I have not been home due to my sisters greediness. You have a lot to be thankful for and so do I. I pray you and your family have a very bless holiday!!!!! home

  9. Dot says:

    Every day in the year is Thanksgiving for my 90 year old husband (who is legally blind) and me. We have been through all the stress and confusion which sometimes accompanies the holiday season but looking back we are pleased to have so many pleasant memories. Now the family is scattered, many have gone to heaven and we do miss them but have had to adapt to a change in lifestyle – such as living in a retirement home and making new friends who have become like family. Our greatest blessing (amid many heartaches during this time) is having more time to spend with our wonderful Savior, Jesus.

  10. Dee says:

    For over twenty years we were the house that everyone came to for Thanksgiving. Then my mother died in November of 1997 so of course I wasn’t in the mood to cook for the holiday that year noone else did. The following year noone planned to cook so I started again. In 2004 in November my husband died and again I didn’t cook and again noone else did. Now the family is down to just two cousins and my daughter and we haven’t had a Thanksgiving celebration in over 9 years. Thank God you have a large family and enjoy the get togethers for tomorrow is not promised and you have the gift of being a good hostess that is also why they keep coming. Just relax and look at it as a large dinnner being prepared for family. Don’t let the pressure of the holiday hype get to you. Peace and blessings. Enjoy!!!