Thanksgiving Conflicts

Rockwell Thanksgiving Conflicts
Thanksgiving Conflicts – not! Just an unattainable Ideal

Thanksgiving Conflicts and How To Avoid them

Thanksgiving conflicts reduces anyone’s ability to be thankful. Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as forced family time. It is ripe for all kinds of potential conflicts.  Here are some things to minimize or avoid conflicts on the big day without lowering your expectations of being truly thankful.    

·     Realize that Norman Rockwell was a fraud.  His famous Thanksgiving painting is a total fantasy.   I’ve been told that when he painted it, each of the models posed separately.  So naturally they appear happy.  They were not in the same room with the others and they obviously didn’t have to eat the food.  They couldn’t because it had to remain for the next model.

·     Speaking of food… for all of those that have recently converted to a vegan diet, gluten free, or just discovered the South Beach, North Beach or West Beach diet, or have any dietary restrictions based on health: the only statement on the subject you can make is (with a smile) – “No, Thank you!” while you are passing the plates.   

·     Thanksgiving is not the time to proselytize anyone to a life free of all of the cholesterol choking cancer causing food on the table.   Yes, stress causes heart attacks.  But stress doesn’t come from always eating the wrong foods, it also comes from people reminding (nagging) you not to eat certain foods. 

·     For those of you on a diet at Thanksgiving and can’t see anything on the table the diet will allow you to eat, and you still want to be true to your diet.  Just remember you do want to loose weight so not eating anything would still be a good thing. 

·     Speaking of proselytizing…Thanksgiving should be a time to be thankful that we are blessed in this country with the privilege to not have to talk politics 365-days a year.  Thanksgiving is the time to eat the turkey and to stop talking about the turkeys running the country or who what to run the country.

Be thankful that when you sit down for Thanksgiving next year the election will be over.


·     Realize that everyone does not have to do the same thing all the time.  For some (or a whole lot of people) cheering on their favorite football team with family and friends is just as much a bonding experience as other activities.  Let them watch the game.  At least half the population will be truly thankful their team won.   Being thankful is what it is all about. 

·     Some may want to watch football, others might want to play a game of football, other still may want to go out and change the water pump on a car.  That is OK!  Chill out!  Be thankful they are all here and having fun. 

·     Thanksgiving is not a time to be thankful for your holiday cruise to the Caribbean, new car, house, job, or any other material thing.   Be thankful for the little things: breathing, the sunrise, food on the table, and laughter.  We are all social people and never truly get along with each other.  If there was no conflict we wouldn’t be human and we need to be thankful that we are human.   

Ken StrongmanAbout the Author: Ken Strongman ( has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

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