Thanksgiving is approaching and many people will be participating in traditions that their family has observed for years. Thanksgiving was initiated to remind us to reflect and offer thanks for the many good things we have been given in our life.

Though every family has different traditions, here are some challenges that also come along with the holiday. Some of them we have control over while others we just have to manage. Some people look forward to that day or weekend while others face it with dread. Some people manage the challenges of the day while it is overwhelming for others. Here are a few of the challenges most of us deal with every time this season rolls around.


Turkey coma. That is all that needs to be said. Many of our traditions include some of our favorite foods that we may not get to eat on a regular basis. We eat…and eat…and eat some more. Eating is necessary. Managing what we eat and how much we eat is where the challenge lies. That one day can throw us off our routine so much that we spend several weeks trying to get back on track. Food is a central part of Thanksgiving, but make sure it doesn’t take over. We can all learn how to enjoy it without overindulging.


For most people, getting together with family is something that they look forward to. For others there are challenges with family that create anxiety when time together approaches. Even in the best families, having everyone together for an extended period of time can create tensions that have to be managed. Family should be something we enjoy but it is critical to understand that everyone has different personalities in the room and there are probably new people in the room, such as spouses and children, who also have influence on relationships. If we are aware of the challenges of these dynamics, it will help us better navigate any difficulties that may arise.


Time flies. We have all said it and experienced it. We never seem to have the time we want when it comes to the holidays. The bigger the family gets the more those time challenges impose themselves. When we marry there is a new family that needs our time. When we have children, they often have schedules that need to be worked around. Often we spend what time we have rushing from home to home or town to town to try to accommodate as many people as we can. The danger is that no one gets quality; only a quick hello in passing. Being aware of the time challenges that holidays can bring can help us plan better so that our time is used well.

We probably can’t erase the challenges of a holiday, but being aware of them will help us navigate the holidays better and make them more memorable and less stressful. Enjoy your Thanksgiving by being aware and intentional.

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