Thanksgiving….Feast or Beast??

Short, sweet, and to the point…. Let’s make Thanksgiving Rock!

Poor little holiday gets no credit, no recognition, no respect.  Stuffed between the more popular Halloween and Christmas (read all December holidays please), Thanksgiving is forgotten in marketing, media, and the masses.

And yet… on a personal level it is a tremendous holiday filled with a wide range of emotional intensity.

  • Excitement of a day to reconnect with family and friends.
  • Trepidation of same.
  • Stress that the house is clean, the food is perfect, and everyone gets along.
  • Inevitability of things not being perfect and sheer long shot of everyone getting along.
  • Exhaustion and inability to BE in the moment.
  • Nagging voice in the back of your head that the true meaning is gratitude and contribution.
  • Delight when you realize you have everything within you to focus on what’s important.

If you are one of the innumerable people that struggle with Thanksgiving and want to make this year different here are some tips to help you through the day:

  • Know that the house doesn’t actually have to be perfect.  Your friends and family will love you anyway.
  • Since you have to get up early to put the turkey in the oven use the quiet time to sit with a cup of tea and reflect on your many blessings.
  • As the day goes on make sure to talk to yourself in an empowering way.  If it’s rough…remind yourself it’s almost over.  If it’s fabulous remind yourself to revel in the moment.

Action Step:  Simply recognize that you get to choose.  Don’t give away your power to choose your emotions and attitude.  Be as YOU wish to be.  And most importantly choose one thing you can do for those less fortunate than you.  Nothing will change your state faster.

Holiday gift ideas at  Questions/comments contact me at


About FindYourFire

Writer, speaker, and life coach Heather O'Neill is president of Progressive Image and creator of the Fire in Five program...helping people reconnect and find the joy in their lives.
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1 Response to Thanksgiving….Feast or Beast??

  1. Heather,
    I want to share a very funy Feast or Beast Thanksgiving Day memory (to this day it is QUITE the family memory!)

    DATE: Thanksgiving Day, 21 years ago.

    It was a busy Thanksgiving Day for me. I was 27 years old and 5 months pregnant with my first child, my daughter Cat. I am a floral designer who had just done a Thanksgiving Day wedding and had already been to my in-laws for dinner. I had made flower arrangements for 2 days, made a few pies and homemade rolls for 2 meals, and was JUST a little tired! We show up at my mom’s house, where my other 4 siblings and their spouses or girlfriend/boyfriends were hanging out before the meal. Large family, loud football games playing, and people hungry for dinner! And, my mother had bronchitis this year and still made the day extra special.

    We sit down or dinner, and the usual banter began, “Please pass the gravy…please pass me a roll..” All was going well until my brother’s long-time family beloved girlfriend make a comment about the traditional Jello mold with fruit (which ones are they?), “What’s this green sh*t??!!!” Next, I heard “pass the rolls,” and then flying overhead from one end of the table to the other went a greasy cheese roll. Then, another hurled followed by laughter and mom’s correction, “What are you doing!?” The final straw was the criticism of my Spinach and Rice Casserole with just a wee bit too much nutmeg in it….(not my fault that my sister did not tell me exactly how much to put in and it was my first and LAST time making this dish!)

    Okay, so I am emotional (got to let it move in me and through me ), and I said, “You all are IDIOTS! I can’t believe you are throwing food across the table!” Grizzly Mama Bear in me, I suppose. I left the table in tears, stormed my emotional self upstairs, and locked myself in a bedroom! My other brothers and sisters, and husband were all but drawing short straws to decide who had the duty of coming upstairs to console me. I’m sure they were laughing hysterically at me! Can still hear it now 🙂

    I was finally wooed downstairs, and everyone was on their best behavior all through dessert!

    Here’s the clencher….

    They turned on the Simpsons Thanksgiving on television, and it was the EXACT SAME SCENARIO!!!! Lisa go so upset at the dinner table that she went outside on the roof!!!!!!

    EVERYONE WAS LAUGHING, including me! It has become the annual story still to share with all of my kids, nieces and nephews, and everyone still gets a good laugh….but I get the last laugh!

    I now know that the Universe was just responding to ME! Thoughts become things….and it was my actions that spawned that episode of the Simpsons 😉 Just left everyone scratching and shaking their heads and saying, “How likely is THAT?”

    This year, as I watched my children, ages 21, 19, and 14, and nieces and nephews of the same ages, I realized that is roughly the maturity level of the people at the dinner table 21 years ago….Oh, I get it now!!!! Only these kids were using their smart phones and going to websites and telling rude jokes off the internet. I just smiled, told them to “Knock it off!” and got up and left the room! They are just making memories….

    This year was delightful in all ways!

    Hope you enjoyed my vulnerable Thanksgiving Day catastrophic blessing in disguise 🙂

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