We all have different ways to show gratitude, and with all the negativity in the world, I think it’s important to show kindness and positivity as often as possible.
I know many people who get extremely stressed out and anxious over attending large family gatherings, especially during the holidays. Personally, I love seeing my family and treasuring every moment that we have together, because life is short, and you never know when you might lose someone you cherish. No family is perfect, we all have our issues, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind, as well as to set realistic expectations about your time together. There are very few “Norman Rockwell” families, so it’s not practical to expect a wild and crazy family to act like that. Try to be happy and thankful that you have a family that loves you, cares about you, and wants to spend time with you. Not everyone has that.
Showing Gratitude to others can be simple, and FREE. Sometimes people WANT help, sometimes they just want to be asked. Respect their response, knowing the offer is appreciated.
- Say hello and something nice to everyone
- Ask the host if they need you to bring anything
- Offer to help with any preparations or set up when you arrive
- Offer to help someone ill, disabled, etc. prepare/carry their plate
- Offer to watch someone’s children while they eat
- Sit at the kids table and enjoy their company so the parents can have a moment of downtime
- Offer to help clean up
- Leave the dishes sitting in the sink, if the host requests it. Maybe they want to socialize while everyone is together and are happy to deal with them when everyone has gone home.
- When the meal is over, stay and socialize a bit, especially with the host. They put a lot of work into organizing things, only to find that everyone is gone before they have a chance to sit and relax.