Thankfulness. Gratitude. Abundance. Blessing. Words that sum up Thanksgiving. At least, words that used to be part of what Thanksgiving in Amercia used to be like and still can be in my humble opinion.
No family is perfect.  Believe me. I would never try to give you the impression that mine was.  But I have to tell you, every time I am home for the holidays, I am reminded how blessed I am.  And I find that other members of our clan voice the same feelings.  My family loves to be together. Anytime. Anywhere.  
As I sat on the couch last night watching the dynamics in the room, I smiled.  If the kids weren’t piling up on each other on the floor, the adults were piling up on the kids or on each other on the couches and chairs. There’s just a lot of love and laughter in the house when we are all together.  We not only love each other, we like each other.  But we are very aware many families do not have that luxury. And because of that, we truly are thankful and feel blessed.
The holidays can be really rough. Going home can be stressful.  You find yourself practicing what you are going to say to that difficult relative who seems to have that “something” against you or that just likes to pick at you.  You know that this time your strategy is in place. And you will know what to say and how to emerge the victor when they come at you this weekend. You find yourself practicing out loud (while you are in the shower or even on the plane or in the car) what you are going to say to them as you make your trek their way.  
I guess the thing to remember here is that we are all human. Sinful beings. And when all of us get into a room, well, sin happens.  So don’t be shocked by that this season. Just be prepared for it. Accept it.  And may I suggest, focus on the good things.
For me, it will be my mom making me wonderful coffee in the mornings and shopping with her, my aunt preparing fabulous meals of abundance for all of us to devour and enjoy, my grandmother offering her words of wisdom and encouragement and my uncle forcing back the tears as he gives grace for the Thanksgiving meal.  Those are the feelings and the thoughts that I hold on to.  Make your list. Don’t focus on that menacing sibling, strange Uncle Joe or annoying cousin Sally.  Be grateful for the special and good things that will be coming your way this weekend.  You know what they are.
Even if you find yourself in your own home this Thanksgiving away from family or loved ones, make the best of it.  Create good things and happy memories.  You can do it.  And most of all, may I encourage you to count your blessings when you make that list.  Name them one by one as the old Hymn goes. Take a moment to check it out. The words are powerful. 
Wishing you a Thanksgiving full of gratitude and peace.