Ding Dong. The door bell rings. In come grandkids, mommies, daddies, aunts, uncles, and an unclaimed dog. The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving is delightfully told in Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode I found this book to be a great starting point to preparing a child for the large family celebrations this week. The holidays can be stressful for my kids-- interrupted naptimes, new faces, "strange" foods. As I shared this book with the boys, I pointed out the illustrations of the people, "Look at all of those people. I bet they are having fun with cousins or maybe playing with new friends. When you meet a new friend you could tell them your name, can you practice?"
I pointed out the foods, "Do you like turkey? When Grandma gives you turkey you could tell her you really enjoy it or say thank you. What else could you say?" We even talked about things to say when we don't really care for a food.
The author of the book even helps parents address the end of the evening, "No one cries because everyone is going home."
So, I have my kids all prepped for the big day, but what about prepping myself? If my kids have a stressed out and anxious mommy, they won't enjoy the festivities. I've been trying to remember 3 words that I learned from Patsy Clairmont at Women of Faith. They are short and easy to remember, but you have to be intentional about putting them into practice.
1. "Yes"- say yes to whatever God wants you to do today. Whether it's being extra patient with an overtired kid or extra patient with a late meal at a family event, I need to listen to what God is telling me to do.
2. "Thank you" - well, that word certainly fits this weekend. I'm working on making it an every day occurrence.
3. "No" If what you are being asked to do is not going to be the best thing for your family, is not something that God is directing you to do, or is just something to clutter your holidays. Feel free to say, "no".
What are your tips for avoiding the stress and enjoying the holidays?