Saturday, November 3, 2012

Some Suggestions for Thanksgiving (and other holidays)

~ By Diane Zarnkoff, TCF, Simi Valley, CA

Throughout our lives, expectations of things to come are based upon past experiences. If, in the past, you had set a glorious table and were the perfect host or hostess, it is very possible that friends and family will expect more of the same this year. They may not be aware that you are not looking toward the holidays with a fun and games attitude. They probably do not know that in anticipation of  Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, you may feel anxiety and fear.

They are probably thinking this year will be different and some sadness will accompany it, but I don’t think they are aware of your anguish, especially if it’s been “awhile.”

I would like to suggest to you that in fairness to yourself you need to be honest about your feelings and, just as important, you need to communicate these feelings to those around you. I really don’t think it is necessary for you to believe that because you set a tradition and always made the turkey, fried the latkes, and always had the family over, you need to feel obligated to do it again this year.

Perhaps you would like (and need) to tell everyone:
  • Someone else will have to do dinner this year.
  • You want to make dinner in your home, but you need lots of help because you don’t have the energy to do it.
  • You want to go to the parties, but you are afraid you may break down and cry or want to leave in a hurry and you want them to know in advance this is really okay.
  • You want to tell them it’s okay to talk about your child. Not to, makes it very uncomfortable.

 The list goes on, but the point is that to pretend everything is “just fine” is a lie and that’s not fair to you or to the people who you love.

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