In the Pastor’s Notes of the bulletin from St. Dominic Church (where I spent many happy years) Father Tom Fanta offers some tips for a pleasant and holy Thanksgiving. I thought they were worth sharing and think you will too:
There is always a bit of tension as families prepare to gather for a holiday. Children returning from college have changed and so have their parents. Relatives you have not seen in a while gather together with the joy of being part of a family but also with past hurts and resentments. Those who host the meal can often feel overwhelmed with cooking and cleaning and shopping for the celebration. Everyone wants to know, “What can I bring?” —which can cause tension if the host has a different vision of cranberries than the guest.
What will you bring to your family table?
Every family needs peace. Maybe you could think about how you might ask God to help you to remain peaceful when conversations veer toward politics or the Church.
Every family needs affirmation. Rather than criticize a child for failing, think about offering “good news” through a compliment or showing interest in the child’s school or hobby.
Every family needs gratitude. Why not think about what you are most grateful for in the people you will share the meal with and focus on that in your words and actions?
Every family needs faith. Maybe start your day by attending the Thanksgiving Mass. Search on the Internet for a Thanksgiving prayer to be read with your family.
Thank about what you might bring to your Thanksgiving table this year. You cannot change the people you call your family, but you can change yourself. Be open. Be positive. Be holy. Be grateful.