Thanksgiving is a really difficult holiday when you are going through a divorce. So many family memories and traditions revolve around this day. What happened in the past may not be doable anymore. Perhaps the whole family gathered at your Mother-in-law’s house and this year you are not invited. It is even more difficult if you had a close relationship with your in-laws. You divorced your spouse not the rest of the family but families tend to stick with their own blood, at least in the first few years after your divorce. So it may be a double whammy in terms of loss.
So, you are on your own. Time to start new traditions.
Catch up with relatives you have not seen for a while, even if it means traveling during the busiest travel time of the year. They will be glad of your company and will welcome you with open arms. Seek out friends. It will feel a bit strange, at least it was for me, that first Thanksgiving away from my children. (Thank you Kate and her wonderful family.) But after the first few minutes, when you settle in, you will find your world had just gotten bigger. There are more people in your life you can be grateful for.
When I was in this position a few years back, I brought a gratitude ring with me to my friend’s home. Everybody writes what they are grateful for on a leaf and sticks it on at Styrofoam ring. It is a great way to get connected to new people and activity reminds everyone what thanksgiving is all about. I felt instantly at home and it was wonderful to see the wreath get buried with the leaves of gratitude. I took some leaves off my ring from last year to let you see how it is done.
Gratitude is one of the strongest ways to bring more love into your life. Expressing gratitude for all the wonderful people and things in your life will make you feel happier, loved and most importantly it will make the people around you feel loved.