As we head into the holidays we enter a time when stress, expectations and strained family relationships can strip the joy and meaning out of the season. Learning to pace ourselves and focusing on the very reason we celebrate can launch us on a path toward deeper meaning, closer relationships and less anxiety. The following are 10 thoughts on successfully celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday:

1. Let the turkey be the only one to be mute and thankless at the Thanksgiving table.
2. Base your thankfulness not on circumstances but on God’s faithfulness.
3. Make a plan to eat right, spend wisely, breathe deeply and maintain realistic expectations.
4. Cancel all relational debts and be the first to bring healing.
5. Choose to create beautiful memories found in the investment of quality time and shared experiences.
6. Remember that unexpressed love is the greatest regret of all.
7. God entrusted you with some family members that you did not choose because he trusts you to love them unconditionally.
8. The early pilgrims sought the freedom to worship God and a true celebration of Thanksgiving will never be found in a mission less noble.
9. God rested on the seventh day of creation and in so doing taught us to pace ourselves.
10. The holidays are prime for having a profound effect upon the life of another at a time when they are most receptive.

The Bible wisely advises us as to how to enter the holiday seasons with the words, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – think about such things.”