Saturday, November 21, 2009

Three Thanksgiving Truths

By Julie Marie Rahm

It is Thanksgiving again, that wonderful holiday of food and fellowship. Are you awaiting the day with eager anticipation? Or, has your sanity gone packing? Here are three truths to remember to enjoy your Thanksgiving Day.

1. Perfection is unattainable.
Perhaps you are like my friend, Debbie, who is fabulous in the kitchen, never misses an episode of Iron Chef, and competes with herself annually to create a fabulous Thanksgiving banquet fit for the Guinness Book of World Records. Her kitchen becomes her arena which others enter at their own peril. This year, one of her strategies is to bake five different kinds of pie and serve them with real whipped cream. If this sounds like you, here is what to do. Set aside your Bon Appetite magazines, print-outs from FoodNetwork.com, recipe books, and shopping lists and breathe for a moment. Clear your mind of the football coach who coaches your son saying You have got to step up your game!. Now, imagine the challenges of preparing the turkey and pies simultaneously, or at least storing those pies with all of the other food in the house. I understand how hard it is to relinquish control over any part of this very important meal. However, maybe your husband could pick up a pie or two at the local bakery. Just consider it.

2. Gravy is tricky.
Or, maybe you are more like me and you have a kitchen because it came with your house and the closest you come to cooking is warming Double Stuff Oreos on a cookie sheet. On my first Thanksgiving as a newlywed in my own home I borrowed a Gourmet Thanksgiving cookbook from Debbie, thinking I am an intelligent woman. How hard can it be to follow a recipe? Drama ensued as my visiting female relatives, accustomed to running the show in their homes, entered the kitchen and donned aprons saying, Making good gravy is tricky, dear.

3. Resistance is futile.
At this point I could talk about respect and boundaries, or not competing with your relatives. Instead, I will share seven words you can use any time you encounter a critical person. You are right. What do you recommend? With these words you acknowledge a comment that rubs you the wrong way, and then empower the other person to change their orientation to useful thoughts.

In the end, what is most important is sharing Thanksgiving with friends and family you love. Be kind to yourself. Keep your mindset tool belt handy and make it a great day!

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