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Surviving Thanksgiving with Multiple Families, In-Laws, and Divorced Parents

Updated on April 9, 2016
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Tips for Surviving Holiday Gatherings

Most families aren't cookie cutter perfect anymore. There are divorced parents, in-laws, step-siblings, and many other types of blended families.

All of these families mean that more and more people have many visits that they have to cram into their schedules. Juggling dinners and get togethers at several houses can be stressful. Added to the usual holiday hurrying and rush is the difficulty of trying to fit everyone in on one day.

Worry no more. Keep reading for tips and ideas to help you balance all of the families you are a part of and ease your holiday burden.

Thanksgiving Spread, by fatherspoon, from Flickr
Thanksgiving Spread, by fatherspoon, from Flickr

Tips for Holidays with Multiple Families

Many of us have two, three, or even more places and families that we have to visit during the holidays. Divorced parents' homes, in-laws, extended family, friends, coworkers, and other people and organizations have separate dinners and functions that we are obligated to attend. Here are some tips to help you manage all of the holiday madness.

  • Try to plan as early as possible to avoid overlaps. Talk with everyone that you must visit and get a firm schedule of when everyone will be having their event. Making a schedule and letting everyone know what you will be doing will help cut down on hurt feelings and avoid misunderstandings.
  • Conflicting times are going to be inevitable. You may have to pick one dinner over another. Try to make up for it by scheduling something with that person later in the weekend or giving them priority for the next holiday. You probably won't be able to please everyone, so just do your best to accommodate who you can.
  • Try to combine as many of the gatherings as possible. If everyone gets along, eat together instead of having several smaller gatherings. For instance, invite your in-laws to your mother's dinner. It is a day for togetherness.
  • Make it a holiday weekend, not just one day. Is it really so important that you gather just on Thursday? If more people can make it on Friday or Saturday postpone the dinner. Compromise on the day so that the ones you love can be together.
  • Have people come to you instead of going to them. If it is difficult for you to go out visiting because of health, kids, or whatever, host the event. Have everyone come to visit you.
  • If you are traveling out of town, split the time with each place. Stay with one parent or family for a set period. Don't try to flip back and forth. Consider booking a hotel. Or compromise by staying with one family at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas or your next visit to avoid having to run around so much.
  • The whole family doesn't have to attend every event. It is okay to split up if there are several events to attend. If one event is more important to one member of the family, go separate ways for a while. Just avoid being away from each other for the whole holiday. Meet back up later to enjoy time together.
  • Coordinate with siblings and other family members. Make sure that everyone will be in the same place at the same time. That way one sibling isn't at Mom's while the other is at Dad's.
  • Start new traditions. Setting the same time for a gathering every year will help cut down on future conflict. If the in-laws are always at lunchtime on Thursdays, Mom's house is Thursday evening, and Dad's is on Friday, for example, everyone will always know how to plan and coordinate the rest of their holiday weekend.
  • Alternate holidays with each family. Compromise by having Thanksgiving at one house and then Christmas with the other family. Then flip the following year.
  • Express to everyone that you want to spend time with them at the holiday. Make sure everyone knows they are important, but understands that you have other important people in your life as well. Tell them you want to see them, it might have to be a different time or a short visit.
  • Schedule time for your own family traditions. Don't neglect the things you want to do with your own smaller family circle because you are too busy running around to everything else. Make traditions with your immediate family if you have kids. It doesn't have to be elaborate.
  • Remember that emotions will be high around the holidays. Work together to figure out the best solution. Try not to be hurtful to each other. Take things in stride and don't take conflicts personally. If you can't make an event or someone you love can't be there, don't be upset about it. Make time when schedules aren't so hectic. Remember the true purpose of the season and keep in mind that you love each other.
  • Enjoy the day. Don't run yourself so ragged that you are too tired to enjoy the holiday. Remember the meaning of the day. Have fun, even if it means skipping an unnecessary event.

Turkey Fun

Add some silly fun to lighten the mood. Laughter is the best medicine for stress. Keep a smile on everyone's face and they'll forget to be grumpy with each other.

Accoutrements Inflatable Turkey
Accoutrements Inflatable Turkey

This turkey will get some giggles and maybe some gobbles, too.

 

"There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions."

- Bill McKibben

In-Laws and the Holidays

Tips on how to survive visits with your in-laws during the holidays.

  • Remember that these people are important to your spouse. They are your spouse's family. If you have conflict with your in-laws, don't make your spouse have to pick sides. Try to work it out without drawing lines and putting your spouse in the middle.
  • Prepare in advance for bothersome comments. If there are always annoying questions and comments from your in-laws, think of a response ahead of time. That way you aren't flustered when you are asked. This will cut down on the tension and stress of the event.
  • Hold your tongue. If one of your in-laws says something that upsets you, don't turn it into an argument. Just smile and let it go. If there is one person in the family who bothers you in particular, avoid that person. That way you don't ruin the dinner with conflict. If it is a serious problem, address it after the gathering in private.
  • The visit is just temporary. You only have to be together for a short time. Make the best of it during the holiday. Things will be back to normal soon. Anyone can get along in short doses.
  • Accept your in-laws as they are. Every family is different and has their own quirks. Don't expect it to be like your own family meals. Adapt and become part of this new family as well as your own.

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."

- Richard Bach

Tips for Holidays with Divorced Parents

  • Don't make comparisons. Each of your parents is different. Don't expect them to do things the same as each other or the same as it was in the past. Accept them for who they are and enjoy the holiday in a different way with each of them.
  • Don't get in the middle. If there is still conflict between your parents, stay out of it. Don't take sides. Let them know that you love them both and want to spend time with both of them. If you are a divorced parent, don't put the kids in the middle.
  • Accept step-family members. Welcome them into family gatherings and treat them as part of the family. Don't give better presents to your biological family. This will only create resentments.
  • Don't expect them to sit around waiting for you. Your parents still have a life outside of you. If you are visiting the other parent or doing something else, don't assume that your parent will be sitting at home doing nothing. Don't get your feelings hurt if your parent does something without you. You won't be able to be a part of everything in both parents lives. Pick the most important things to be a part of accept missing out on a few events.
  • Be flexible. Starting new traditions can avoid conflicts. Having Thanksgiving dinners on Fridays and opening Christmas presents on Christmas eve can be fun and cut down on fights over who gets the kids on the holidays. If nothing else, alternate holidays. One parent can have the kids on Thanksgiving, the other on Christmas day. Then switch the following year.

"Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends."

- Courtland Milloy

Surving the Holidays with Your Family

Hints and tips to keep your holidays joyous.

Family Obligations Poll

How big is your family? How many times do you get to stuff yourself with food?

How many different gatherings do you attend on the holidays?

See results

Tips for Avoiding Holiday Conflicts

Source

  • Meet someplace neutral. If conflicts happen at gatherings, don't meet at the home of any of the people involved. Rent a dining hall or meeting place for the dinner. Or go to someone else's house who gets along with everyone.
  • Try to avoid arguments. If you know there are usual arguments that come up during the holidays, prepare in advance to try to keep them from happening. For instance, seat feuding relatives at opposite ends of the table.
  • Split the cooking duties. Assign everyone a dish, so one person doesn't end up cooking it all. This will keep cost down for the host as well.
  • Assign chores ahead of time. Decide who will be on table setting duty, dish duty, trash duty, and whatever else is necessary before the day arrives to avoid squabbles over who will do what. Paper plates, cups, and silverware can cut down on the amount of dishes. One meal of throw away products isn't too bad for the environment.
  • Think about eating out or getting a caterer. This will cut down on the hassle of cooking and cleaning. It can also be a time saver since there is little prep time involved. That can eliminate a big chunk of holiday stress.
  • Defuse potential problems. If you see potential meltdowns happening, distract everyone with a funny story or pull out cute photos. Try to lighten the mood. Encourage respect and keep a lid on disharmony.

"Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day."

- Robert Caspar Lintner

My Experience with Multiple Families

I have divorced parents, step-parents, a large extended family, and, now that I am married, I have in-laws as well. Big families can be fun, but cramming in time with everyone at the holidays runs me ragged. My sister is married now, too. We have different approaches to handling the holiday hubbub with our ever increasing families.

For Thanksgiving, we usually eat at the in-laws for one meal on Thursday and my mom for the other meal. Then we eat with my dad on Friday. The extended family is on Saturday.

My sister alternates visits with extended family every year. At Thanksgiving she goes to her husband's extended family gathering, and then Christmas with ours. Then they flip the next year. She doesn't like to travel much, so this works for her.

Christmas gets more chaotic. My husband and I celebrate our Christmas together on the 24th. Then Christmas at his parents is Christmas morning. We have a Christmas with my mom and dad whenever everyone can get together. Sometimes it is Christmas eve. Sometimes it is the 26th or 27th. Extended family events usually happen the weekend after Christmas. As long as we get together and celebrate, it doesn't matter the exact date on the calendar.

My biggest hassle is trying to coordinate when everything will happen. That way two gathering aren't happening at the same time. Everyone is usually flexible about scheduling. Occasionally my husband and I might miss an extended family gathering or something else. But it usually all works out well.

The important thing is that we are grateful to have so many people who care about us. We aren't short on support.

Big families are good for one thing. Lots of presents!

Destress with Relaxing Music

Play this relaxing music as you are checking off your holiday to do list. It will keep you from pulling your hair out.

Get Organized for Christmas - Freebies!

Tons of free downloads and printables to help smooth out your holiday season.

"As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same."

- Donald E. Westlake

Lens of the Day
Lens of the Day

Lens of the Day!

November 22, 2011

Wow! This lens was chosen for LotD.

Thank you Squidoo!

Ho, Ho, Ho - How do you deal with the holidays?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      These days not good! As a child & through my first marriage it was easy!! As a kid we did my maternal grandparents on eve of thanksgiving n paternal on day of. Then opposite for Xmas n then the next year they flopped n did opposite of year before. As I lost all my grandparents at young age my mom took over n my first husbands mom lived far n didn't like company so we always had Xmas at my moms with a couple hundred people. We only exchange gifts with imidiate family so we played a gift game for the big group.

      My mom passed 5yrs ago n I just remarried 8yrs ago, n my oldest got married n my DIL has extended imidiate family also n they had my first grandson a year ago! n it has been heck ever since my new marriage.

      I have kids n have to jungle there time with there dad no have 2 adult children one with a college schedule, n one married with my 1st grandson. N juggling her parents, their father vrs our Christmas vrs an aunt n uncle n cousins gathering that always seems to be planned on the day we r having ours or a day we don't have my kids to join. It's a 2 hour drive for us n even my MIL don't care less if we have our kids or not she just wants her son there! Heck they even missed our last Christmas where our 19yr old son was only here for a few days for the first time in 2yrs. N lived 3000 miles away!

      But yet my husband now of 8yrs seems to still side with them. He feels my kids n grandbaby r my family n he shouldn't have to miss his aunt n uncles. His parents live close so we always invite them but yet I never see my aunts n uncles cousins etc. because of our holiday schedules. I as a mother law know that my DIL has family come in town each holiday so I plan around their holiday (i always find out their date first before i plan) n around my younger kids going to dads. So it's always tricky. But I've tried to explain if they could do it the weekend b4 the week of Xmas we would all beable to join them but it seems intentional they schedule it like that. All there kids r up there n no grandkids etc yet so they don't understand the splitting time n none of them have split families! I know if I had a child with my husband I think it would be different but the fact is I can't n won't just so they will comprimise with us in!! I knew from the beginning his mom didn't accept but it makes it very stressful to go through this every year! I always open my door n they all can drive here n join us n for first few years we did make it, actually last one was first we missed but this one we will also. They keep saying he can just go. N I'm almost tempted to send him by himself not that they would care but maybe he would get what he is missing at home where his kids n wife are. But at the same time I guess the fear is maybe he would have the best time ever n not miss us at all while our kids miss him n I miss him!! Any advise??

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      What should be a relaxing and day of thanksgiving can go downhill quickly with so many diffent people.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Laddoo LM: Wow! Thank you for the blessing!

    • Laddoo LM profile image

      Lloyd Pinto 5 years ago from Mumbai

      Wonderful Lens! Blessed!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @JennySui: Thanks so much!

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      JennySui 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOtD! You have done a great job.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @ErHawkns7100: Definitely want to keep our hair. Thanks!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @SheilaSchnauzies: Happy Holidays and thank you!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @RobinDM: Thank you very much! Hope it smooths out the holidays.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Srena44: Thanks!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @writerkath: It is definitely easier when everyone gets along. Being on the road during the holidays can be rough. But it is good you still get together with everyone.

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      writerkath 5 years ago

      Nice job! We're lucky, everyone seems to get along! Plus, John & I tend to be on the road a lot during holidays. Sometimes bittersweet, but it makes the gathering of family all that much sweeter! :)

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 5 years ago

      great lens

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      RobinDM 5 years ago

      This lens has wonderful advice. I will be sharing it with others.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      What a neat lens with great advice. Happy Thanksgiving to you, and blessings too!

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 5 years ago

      Good advice so you don't pull your hair out.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @DebMartin: It seems a simple holiday is becoming rare. Relaxation is a must during stressful times. Thanks!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @SheilaVine LM: Thanks

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: Thank you! So many of us have large families to spend time with.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      May many Thanksgiving gatherings become much more pleasurable as we all follow your very sane and helpful guide lines, congratulations on receiving the LotD honor for this gem!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: Thank you! Holidays with the family should be pleasurable. And it is possible. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @fullofshoes: Thank you! Hope it helps your kids.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: Divorced in-laws can be a headache, I'm sure. Good luck and thanks!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @delia-delia: Thank you! It is a pity when people can't get along on special days.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Diana Wenzel: Thanks so much!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Joan Haines: That's the way to go. Mental prep can make anything much easier to tackle. If you are the middle sister, I bet you get more than your share of family angst. Thanks!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @WhitePineLane: Multiple families mean more people to love, but more stress as well. Thanks!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @lasertek lm: You're welcome. Thanks for commenting.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you! I am excited about being picked.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @HomeArtist1: The turkey is hilarious. The holidays can be stressful for many people. Enjoy the time with your sister!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @debsgreatfinds: Thank you! I'm about ready to gobble some Thanksgiving food, too!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @fugeecat lm: It's nice that you have a Thanksgiving tradition. That's what is important about the holidays.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Scarlettohairy: Thank you! We put a lot of stress on the holidays, but they are only a few days a year.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: Thanks so much!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @norma-holt: Thanks so much! I am ready to eat a Thanksgiving meal, too. One more day!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: The holidays shouldn't be miserable. It is important to find time for your immediate family in the midst of all the gatherings. Thanks!

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      DebMartin 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. I have a small family. But even so, the holidays have become complicated. I like the destress with relaxing music the best. I could just to that and ignore all the rest. Nice lens.

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      SheilaVine LM 5 years ago

      great lens

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations for LOTD. Useful tips for people with a long list of extended families.

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      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      congrats on LOTD. Fabulous content. Wish I'd had this 15 years ago but I shall pass it on to my grown kids!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very good lens. My husband comes from a divorced family and I never had to deal with feuding families until now. Haha...fantastic tips though!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Isn't it ashamed that a Day of Thanks can turn ugly when someone feuds...

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on LotD! Excellent advice.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      Excellent, excellent, excellent! I will revisit this before every gathering to get myself mentally prepared.

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      WhitePineLane 5 years ago

      Oh, this is such an important topic! I hardly know of anyone who doesn't struggle with celebrating with multiple families. You've given lots of great ideas and important things to think about. Thank you!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for the ideas.

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      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great information and advice. Congratulations on your lens of the day!

    • HomeArtist1 profile image

      Wendy Hughes 5 years ago from Charlotte

      I love the inflatable turkey! AAHHH! :) Family can be overwhelming and lead to stresses plus! Thanks for the tips. There's so many folks who can use them. I'll be with my boys at my sister's house. YIPPEE!

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      debsgreatfinds 5 years ago

      Great lens the food on the table looks yummy making me hungry LOL!

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      The past couple of years I have spent Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. I always try to remember to bring along some special goodies for everyone to enjoy. This year my nephew told me not to forget the apple pie I usually bring along.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Such good tips. It can be too much so relaxing and realizing it's a short visit makes a lot of sense.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good lens with great info. Congrats on your LOTD!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Wonderful ideas and superb looking Thanksgiving table, wish I could be there. Congrats on LOTD and now featured on Squidoo LOTD Lenses. Hugs

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great Lens.. I try not to put myself through anything that would make me miserable during the holidays. I think the most important thing is to spend the time doing what you want! I try to make time for just our immediate family (Me, my husband and son) as I am most comfortable and enjoy being with just us the most.

      But also enjoy spending time with the extended family as well!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @mrducksmrnot: Unfortunately commercialization has taken its toll on the holidays. Remember to keep the true meaning of the holidays ever in mind.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @miaponzo: Thanks! The tips come from experience. I really appreciate the blessing!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @AliciaMae: What would a family gathering be without a bit of chaos? The distance does give you a good excuse to miss out on the crazy family gatherings.

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @hamshi5433: Thanks!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @NidhiRajat: Thank you!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @traveller27: Thank you so much for the blessing! Always nice to get those!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @SquidooMBA: Thank you!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @LadyCharlie: Thank you! Hope the tips come in handy.

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @baincol: Thank you!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @agoofyidea: Everyone can definitely stand some tips on handling family. Thank you!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @glowchick: Thank you! It is certainly an honor!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Snehalata: Thanks!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @SofiaMann: Thank you!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @aka-rms: Thank you very much!

    • MadScience profile image
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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @DebiJones LM: Thank you! Juggling several different events can be a struggle. The tips come from experience. Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Faye Rutledge: Happy Thanksgiving and thank you!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: The juggling act can get tiring, but it is worth it to have the family together. It makes things much easier when everyone gets along and can work it out agreeably. Happy Holidays!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @JoshK47: Thank you for the blessing! I appreciate it so much!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @RaintreeAnnie: Thank you so much! Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @WatchMovie: Thank you for the compliment!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: Thank you!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @purpleslug: I completely understand the back and forth phone calls. It seems as if it gets harder and harder to get everyone together at the same time. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Thanks!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @staymor: Thanks! Glad it has helped!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @luckyone924: Thanks!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @anonymous: Thank you!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @JoyKitten: I definitely wouldn't mind a morning show picking up on my lens! That's a wonderful compliment! Everyone can benefit from better relationships with family. Thank you!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Gayle Dowell: We definitely need to cut down on the stress in our lives! Thank you for the blessing! That added joy to my holiday!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @badmsm: Toxic people can bring down a whole gathering. You have to do what brings joy to you. And surrounding yourself with the people you love is the best way to do it. Thank you so much for the blessing! That brings me joy!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Ann Hinds: Thanks wordstock! The blessing is a fabulous gift. Much appreciated! You are right. Start with small steps and eventually you will get a long distance. And it is never too late to fix relationships. Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @rivercityconcepts: Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Thank you for your comment!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @Ruthi: Thanks! Lintner does have it right. Thanksgiving is a way of life. Not just a day.

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @RitikaSharma: Happy Thanksgiving to you! Thank you!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @SiochainGraSonas: Thanks so much! Hope the advice comes in handy.

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @BunnyFabulous: Thank you! Alternating holidays is a good way to cut down on all the events to attend. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @theprettygirls: Thank you so much!

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @bossypants: Thank you! You are right--these tips can come in handy at any family gathering. I love your phrase "a hectic multi-obligation holiday." That sums it up perfectly.

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      Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      @mrducksmrnot: It sure sounds like you have the true spirit of Thanksgiving. That is what the day is about. Giving thanks and appreciating the gifts and blessings in our lives. Thanks for commenting.

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      Wonderful ideas but I feel Thanksgiving and Christmas has become to commercialized and the true meaning has been lost. I'm just a happy Pilgrim in an ever changing world. Let me tell ya bout the birds and the bee's, the flower's and the trees, the sky up above and a thing called LOVE. _/\_ Everyone have a safe, enjoyable and Thankful Thanksgiving day.

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      mrducksmrnot 5 years ago

      Married twice, divorced twice. one daughter 3000 miles away so the most important part of Thanksgiving to me is just to be grateful and give Thanks for Life Itself. I get gifts of love, thanks and more each day of my life so I kind of take a day off, roll out into Mother Nature in my off road wheelchair, bring along a lunch and Give Thanks unto my Lord and sing like crazy. After the Thanksgiving holiday I'm blessed with lots of leftovers but I feel really great because I spent my time enjoying Life.

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      bossypants 5 years ago from America's Dairyland

      You offer ingenious ideas for a managing a hectic multi-obligation holiday! Your suggestions are valuable all year, for keeping the peace with family members. Congratulations on the Squidoo front page. Well deserved!

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      theprettygirls 5 years ago

      nice lens.. congrats on LOTD

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      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Congrats on LOTD! We alternate holidays with my inlaws. Hope your Thanksgiving is a great one.

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      SiochainGraSonas 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD. Excellent lens! Lots of good advice.

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      RitikaSharma 5 years ago

      nice lens congrats on LOTD. I wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving holiday this year.

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      Ruthi 5 years ago

      Excellent tips for enjoying the giving thanks spirit. The quote you share by Lintner says it all! Congratulations on Squidoo Lens of the Day.

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      rivercityconcepts 5 years ago

      Excellent advice! I wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving holiday this year.