Thanksgiving is such a simple holiday that is often packed with emotional upheaval from families that come together and are forced to confront hard feelings and raw pent up emotions.

Retailers are beginning to rename Thanksgiving “Thanksgifting” and encouraging customers to start early and “thank yourself”.

The gift that is most appropriate for that one day is gratitude.

Some recipes for success:

  • Keep the focus on gratitude and when someone uncovers sore points in the family dynamic, just be thankful that you have a family.  Many people do not.
  • Thank the host.  Fewer people each year prepare a feast and if you’re fortunate enough to be invited to one, start dinner with a toast to the preparer.
  • Remember those who are no longer present.  Say their names, say a line or two about why you miss them.
  • Family doesn’t have to be perfect — few are.  Even if you cannot get along with a family member, keep returning to gratitude.  The homeless do not have the luxury of enjoying the warmth of a meal with family no matter if someone in the family tries to ruin it.

The gift to give yourself is gratitude and there are many ways to remind yourself of it on Thanksgiving Day.

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