Depending on where you live, there seems to be some sort of holiday gathering before Christmas season.
This list is not limited to Thanksgiving time. It can apply for gatherings where you will meet relatives and immediate family. So this may help you :)
Thanksgiving is associated with family time, fun, gatherings and at times those infamous family members who ask all sorts of questions, like: "Why are you still single? When are you having a baby?" : )
Albeit it being a fun time, I felt God say that I should also speak into that inner anxious person during this time! So I will! :)
So how do you enjoy the holiday season whilst still keeping your peace? Well, here is a list of Do's and Don'ts on celebrating your holiday whilst keeping your PEACE!
Pray before you go:
Pray for God to bless the place and for Him to guide your conversations. Who knows, maybe He may ask you to invite a friend or colleague too who may be alone during this season or far from their family or who doesn't have family!
Be Thankful. Whether you celebrate the specific holiday or not, the aspect of gratitude is one that never runs dry. It doesn't take hours to think of things to be thankful for. From the clothes on your back, to the place you live, for God's love, and so on. Gratitude and thanksgiving is something that is powerful. Some say, as your praises go up, your blessings come down! :)
Take the chance to catch up with the family member you haven't seen in a while
After prayer, you can also choose to be intentional on giving the gift of quality time to someone. Whether it's that distant cousin or aunt, you can always take the time to see what they're up to now, how they are doing, or simply to play a game with them.
Enjoy it and Relax
Cooking, cleaning, so much to do! I know! But enjoy it. Even if you are the host, enjoy it. Play some music whilst you cook, dance whilst you cook, put on your favourite apron. Use your gifts to give it a personal touch, such as making nice name tags for the table or decorations.
Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
I know that not everyone will have the "perfect" family reunion, so for those who have difficult times in these seasons, know that you are not alone. Philippians 4 is a good Chapter to read, which is titled: "Stand Firm In The Lord".
So, some Don't's:
Over worry yourself about who will be there. You're an adult and now is a time to exercise your boundaries.
If you already know who will be there, take inventory beforehand, and ask God what He thinks about this time. He will guide you to assess what are the best ways to navigate in this season. Also, He will be able to tell you if there is too much on your plate and the wisest places for you to go. You never know, maybe you are there to encourage someone or to be there for someone. Or Someone may encourage you!
Okay, this is the one you might have been waiting for. It coincides with the boundaries. You're an adult and you're able to speak for yourself about why you are still single or why you are in a relationship. For questions that are too deep, just take a breath and calmly explain that either you don't have an answer for that question at this time or that realistically you are waiting on God. If someone cannot respect your boundaries, which I hope and pray it will not get to that stage, you can simply excuse yourself for the time being and say a little prayer. You can then assess to see if you need to sit somewhere else in the room to talk to someone else, or to change the subject or to ask the person if they can stop. :)
I know nothing is perfect and things can get messy, but I hope they do not! This is a time where you can exercise what God has been teaching you in your quiet times. Whether He has been teaching you to be patient, being fearless, or to enjoy your days, know that God goes with you everywhere you go. Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
May this be a blessed season and time for you and yours, in Jesus' Name!!
We thank Him for life, for love, liberty, for grace and for our loved ones!