How baby boomers can reduce Thanksgiving stress
Happy Thanksgiving Day

How baby boomers can survive Thanksgiving Day with their relatives

Many baby boomers will be hosting Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, and family and friends will gather for a happy, heart-warming celebration.

That’s the way the event is supposed to play out. But sometime, there’s trouble.

Gen X kids may be cranky about family issues, and Gen Ys may be late in arriving. Sibling rivalry could bubble up, with long ago events causing painful memories. Critical parents may still be critical. The loss of a loved one may put a damper on the celebration.

What should you do if you feel like throwing dishes after all the hard work you’ve done in preparing for Thanksgiving, or if you can't stand the same fight that occurs year after year?

Here are tips from the article “How to Survive Thanksgiving Dinner With Your Family” offered on Mahalo:

Step 1. Manage your expectations. Forget perfection. Be flexible with rituals. Don’t try to change anyone. Treat people well all year.

Step 2. Let other people help. Go out. Make it a potluck. Don’t host the party. Volunteer.

Step 3. Be aware of family dynamics. Don’t regress. Be sensitive. Go easy on mom.

Step 4. Respect your differences. Be empathetic. Be attentive. Don’t discipline anyone else’s children. Don’t criticize. Differentiate between public and private. Accommodate special dietary needs. If someone’s difficult, choose your behavior, acknowledge comments, use humor, team up, create a refuge, call a friend, and don’t drink too much.

Step 5. Opt out. Limit the length of your stay. Give kids a break. Order a pizza.

For other suggestions for surviving Thanksgiving Dinner with your family, see:

“How to Survive Thanksgiving With Family” –

“Thanksgiving Day Survival Tips” –

“Eileen's Guide to Surviving the Relatives at Thanksgiving” – Smarter Travel

“Surviving Holiday Family Gatherings” – PsychCentral

Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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Carol Stanley

Great suggestions..and sometimes we forget the reason for Thanksgiving...Be grateful for all we have...and then some


Hi Carol,

Yes, we do need to be thankful for what we have.

The tips in the article will help people to stay focused on the joyful parts of the holiday rather than getting trapped in old family patterns.



Being both a mom and a daughter, I like the advice to go easy on mom! Though that's easy for me since mine is so great. I have lived far away from my family for 13 years so I am grateful for every time I get to see them.


Hi Lisa,

I, too, enjoy family gatherings. I'm polite and don't bring things up from the past. Some people can really get going on issues they haven't resolved from years ago.


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