Holidays can be the best and the worst of times in our families. While they may bring out the best in us, that is offer opportunities for warm connection and celebration, for expressions of gratitude or provide chances to heal wounds, we also know that these times can and often are stressful and instead, seem to heighten tensions and conflicts.
The holidays can also present an opportunity for emerging adults to begin to do the work of thinking about what you value about a holiday, what family traditions you might want to preserve in your adult life and which you want to change. The following questions are designed to help you think about what you value about Thanksgiving and how you might want to celebrate it for your own sake, in your own fashion.
- How did your family celebrate Thanksgiving when you were growing up? (Who hosted? Who attended? Who cooked? Were there annual traditions? What was your role?)
- What was your experience of the holiday? (Did you like it? Look forward to it? Was it difficult? Did you dread it? Describe your feelings about your family Thanksgivings.)
- Were there things about your family’s Thanksgiving celebration that you valued? If so, what were they?
- When you establish your own Thanksgiving tradition, how do you think you will celebrate? What will you keep and what will you change from your family’s way of doing Thanksgiving?
- Thanksgiving is about gratitude. List as many things as you can that you are grateful for this Thanksgiving.