Personalities and Communication – In every extended family, there are bound to be personality quirks and mismatches that threaten to upset the Thanksgiving holiday extravaganza. Make things easy on yourself and try to smooth over any potential snags from the start. Include all of the blended family matters in the planning. Let everyone know the proposed schedule, menu and helping opportunities early on. Consider the extended family communication style for the best party planning approach. Plan by phone? In person? Via a family designed internet invitation? If not everyone cares to be involved in the planning or baking or decorating, ask them to help with cleanup or to coordinate kid activities or Thanksgiving music or simple flowers.
Sharing – Unless you are the Martha Stewart Thanksgiving catering type, welcome suggestions and helping hands gratefully!
Diversions for the Ages – If your blended extended family is even remotely like mine, you’ll want to be open to diversions to keep the crowd comfortable, relaxed and out of the busy Thanksgiving kitchen. Depending on family ages and interests, consider a TV room for sports or a kid video. Perhaps a table for cards, a jigsaw puzzle, or another board game? A quiet corner or room for reading or a quick nap? Not every relative is up for hours of blended family Thanksgiving mingling. Don’t push the issue. Keep the peace and go with the flow.
Inside and Out – If the weather cooperates, consider spreading out the blended family gathering to a three-season porch or encouraging a before or after dinner walk or outside activities for the kids.
Multiple Celebrations? – If bringing the entire blended family together for Thanksgiving seems to be an overwhelming feat destined for disaster, don’t push it. Have your own intimate family celebration and set aside another day, evening, or non-holiday weekend to catch up with the extended family. More isn’t always merrier.
Make Reservations! – If blended traditions, preferences and varying menus seems too much of a challenge, consider inviting the blended family for a Thanksgiving outing at a nearby restaurant. Plan ahead and enjoy giving thanks to the restaurant staff for a relaxing Thanksgiving family gathering.
Source: Christine Tetreault, Yahoo Voice