Don’t sweat the small stuff, just let go of your expectations and enjoy!

Why am I starting a blog this way? Because Thanksgiving can be a nerve-racking holiday!

Our extended family grows bigger every year – we will have at least 23 but potentially 29 people who may attend dinner this evening! That is a lot of people and we don’t have homes big enough to comfortably accommodate that many large, loud people and our equally loud and destructive children! However there is the expectation (particularly from the older folks) that we will all be together for this occasion, eating together, arguing, laughing and watching football. Well how many people own a home large enough to accommodate that many people at once? Yes, it’s nice for family to be together but sometimes the logistics are crazy!

My cousin is hosting this year, which he is happy to do because he loves our big crazy Greek family and enjoys it when we are all together. However, he decided to do it at his restaurant rather than at home, just so that we have more room, can actually sit together, and the volume can be kept to a dull roar!

I think there are two main reasons holidays can be stressful. First, you have family obligations and the often dysfunctional family dynamics that arise from everyone dealing with those obligations. And why? Because there is always one person who feels they are doing too much, another that feels they weren’t asked to help enough, some that don’t want to help at all and some that are totally oblivious to family tension. Oh, and someone is usually a little miffed because they would have done things differently. 🙂 This doesn’t always make for the most relaxing meal or the best aftermath…

The other reason holidays are upsetting is because Hollywood and Martha Stewart have brainwashed us into wanting the ‘perfect’ sit down dinner with the perfectly cooked traditional turkey and stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce (which is ridiculously easy to make, by the way…) we get so caught up in trying to achieve perfection that we end up stressed. I can’t be anywhere near perfect when my oven starts to putz out on me, Billy is tugging on my leg to be picked up while I am trying to baste a bird, and Helen decides my small kitchen is the only room in the house she wants to be in because she has to “help”!

You can’t control the people around you, you can only control your reactions to them! And so I say, don’t sweat the small stuff, just let go of your expectations and enjoy!