Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so it’s crunch time for those who are hosting the feast. And while it may be easy to let the stress take over, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Lydia LoCoco, Managing Director of Administration and Ministry at St. Jerome Parish in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, stopped by Morning Air®, to share some tips on how to make this Thanksgiving a holiday of joy and peace, rather than stress and conflict.
Start the day with Mass
Look up the time your parish has Mass on Thanksgiving. There’s usually one Mass, and it’s kind of unusual, because you get used to, on Sundays, going to different Masses. But with that one time all the parishioners usually come together, get on our knees, and thank the Lord for all of our blessings. It’s a great way to start the day and it’s a wonderful witness to the children.
Prepare ahead of time
Don’t wait until the last minute to get the things you need – to get the napkins, the tablecloths, to make sure you have the turkey in time for it to thaw, things like that. Don’t depend on your multi-tasking abilities later in the week. Wash the crystal on Wednesday and have the table set Wednesday night.
Accept that you won’t be able to control things
Kind of give yourself a talk in the mirror. You’re not going to be able to control everything. Aunt Mildred is going to complain that the turkey is dry. She does it every year. Embrace Aunt Mildred. Just laugh and know it’s coming.
Let go of the fear of failure
Especially for younger people, if it’s your first time hosting, don’t be afraid of failure. One time I was standing in the kitchen, and my mother-in-law had a beautiful homemade apple pie, and she tripped and it dumped upside down on the floor. And we looked at each other and we just laughed. What are you gonna do?
Take the opportunity to to reach out
Maybe you’re sitting across from your grown children who are not in the Faith, or you’re facing a lot of things that don’t make you happy, or that you are worried about. This is the chance to reach out. The Holy Father is always talking about journeying and accompaniment. This is not the day for apologetics, this is not the day for coercion. This is the day to make memories – happy memories that we start building on. So let the water go under the bridge and just say to yourself that you’re going to have a happy day.
Make the blessing a highlight of the day
At Thanksgiving, bless the meal and really make it a highlight. Stop, take 30 seconds to let everybody quiet down and bring attention to grace and giving thanks. We set the bar, and if we take the faith seriously they will take it seriously.
Start being grateful right now
You have a countdown to Thanksgiving, so try writing down three things every day that you are grateful for, even if they’re the littlest things. I have running water, I have a car to drive, I have a job, etc.
Hear more tips (and food ideas!) from Lydia LoCoco below: