The five secrets to surviving your family's Thanksgiving dinner

Joe Rich shares his 5 key phrases to survive Thanksgiving!

1. Try to have realistic expectations. 
Lots of things will go well, but not everything.  People who are late will always be late. It’s time to set realistic expectations based on your general expectations and your experiences with family.  Realistic expectations = avoiding disappointment.  Play the "hey I'm right game!" instead of getting upset.

2. Shelf it for the holidays.  
We often say things like, " if your sister starts up about that again I'm going to say something..." or “your mother ruined last Easter and if she does the same thing this holiday I'll let her have it.”  Shelf it.  If you have done nothing about whatever troubles you during the time from Easter to today; shelf it until Tuesday.  There lots of  time to deal with things before Christmas... Or if YOU do nothing about it... Shelf it at Christmas too.  Don't use holidays to work things out. 

3. Make it meaningful.  
It's Thanksgiving - don't be afraid to be thankful or ask others to participate.  Make it mean something.  Organize a game or invite the kids to make a decoration or a wish.  Choose a charity to donate to or food drive to help with.  Find a way to make it meaningful to you and your family!

4. Take 5!
Pick a time or moment in time when you are done.  Whatever happens from then on - it is what it is.  Work to 5 p.m.  Go shower.  Call a friend.  Come downstairs and take it from there.  Let go of perfect.   There is always one more thing - let it go. The most memorable Thanksgiving is often the one where the stove broke and we ate cold turkey!   

5.Share the wealth (and the work). 
Its 2016 not 1955.   We make thanksgiving together - not for each other anymore.  Don’t be afraid to delegate who will bring what - 6 bottles red wine are a waste.  Give yourself permission.  Can the guys come over the day before and set up tables and chairs?  Stay late for take down?  All genders and ages can find a way to help.  For many this is change.  It’s time to let go of super woman!