I heard a counselor interviewed on CBS “The Early Show” give some good, practical advice about navigating Thanksgiving. It reminded me of the good, practical advice about life and relationships we find in the Bible’s Book of Proverbs. What follows is the pundit’s advice followed by that of the sages of Israel responsible for the wise advice in the Book of Proverbs.
Remember the giving in Thanksgiving. It sets a good example for your children. Life is not all about enjoying our blessings without sharing them with others. (“Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor” 22:9).
Don’t have a “pot luck;” have a “pot purpose” dinner. Tell everybody what to bring.
Make it a team effort. Don’t get stuck doing all the dishes yourself. (“A friend loves at all times, and kinfolk are born to share adversity” 16:17). If we were born to share adversity, we can certainly clean up the kitchen together!
Take control of the table. Make a seating arrangement and place relatives who don’t get along
far from each other. (“Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it” 15:17).
Set a positive tone for the Thanksgiving Day dinner conversation. Don’t let hostility or whining have a seat at the table. (“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones” 17:22. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” 15:1).
Don’t eat too much or drink too much. The holidays are just beginning. You need to pace yourself. (“Do not be among winebibbers, or among gluttonous eaters of meat” 23:20; “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” 20:1)