Set These Boundaries Before Your Thanksgiving Guests Arrive

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While there’s no way to guarantee that your Thanksgiving gathering will be 100% conflict-free, setting some boundaries with your guests before the big dinner can at least help reduce conflicts and awkward moments. . Here are some examples of things to discuss and agree upon before getting together for the holidays.

come up with a meal plan

Food is an important part of most holidays, so it’s understandable that when it comes to preparing for the day’s main activities and then eating, things can get heated. Between competing recipes and cooking techniques — not to mention literal cases of too many cooks in the kitchen — food-related tensions can run high on Thanksgiving.

If this is an annual problem at your gatherings, agree on a plan ahead of time. In addition to specifying who will make each dish (to avoid duplicates and hurt feelings), have some sort of cooking and heating schedule to make sure people aren’t competing for kitchen space and oven time. Organize as well.

As a bonus, you may want to set limits regarding commenting on or criticizing other people’s food or cooking techniques. it’s a great time people to keep those thoughts to yourself,

get the timing right

Being the host of holiday gatherings isn’t just a matter of letting people into your home on Thanksgiving Day: it also includes prep work, and cleaning up before and after the event. So the hosts and guests must agree not only on the time of arrival, but also on the time of departure.

This will keep the host from feeling like they have to kick people out, and gives socially anxious guests some sort of timeline instead of facing a gathering for a fixed amount of time.

Get on the same page about health and safety

Along with this being the third Thanksgiving of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are also dealing with an early surge in RSV and flu cases this year. At this point, not everyone is on the same page in terms of the risk they’re willing to take to participate in holiday gatherings—which is something you should discuss before the holiday.

These conversations can be uncomfortable, but it’s better to have them before Thanksgiving Day. It’s also entirely possible that you and your guests may not reach a natural agreement. If it does, it’s ultimately your decision, because it’s your home, and you deserve to feel comfortable and safe in it.

Respect new and old traditions

In 2020 (and 2021, to a lesser extent), the pandemic disrupted countless holiday celebrations, giving many the opportunity create your own traditions, rather than following those into whom they were born or married. And even though more people feel comfortable traveling again for Thanksgiving, they may not want to completely abandon their new traditions and return to old ones.

If this is (or could be) an issue at your Thanksgiving gathering, bring it up with your guests ahead of time. measure attendance Traditions – both new and old – and as a group, decide which ones to follow this year. Do this with the understanding that you can alternate between different combinations of these traditions from year to year, so everyone is included.

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