There are some who look forward to the holidays and others who are less enthusiastic about the idea. For me, it depends on the year. Growing up in my family, Thanksgiving meant completing very involved house projects moments before thirty people showed up for an enormous meal. Nowadays, my only job is arriving around lunchtime with sweet potatoes, and somehow I still get stressed out.

What is your Thanksgiving tradition? Do you get to relax or are you running around trying to make sure everything is perfect? Is it somewhere in between? Whatever your typical holiday looks like, here are a few tips that may help you be less stressed and actually enjoy the day.

Thanksgiving placesetting1) Strive for Imperfection

Let’s face it, the holidays are never going to look like a Martha Stewart catalog. Don’t stress so much over the details. It will never be perfect. Embrace the imperfections so you can spend more time and energy focused on simply enjoying the time with your loved ones.

2) Focus on Fun

Even if you have to drive across the state to visit a second cousin you don’t care for, find a way to sneak in some fun. Keep your sense of humor, play a game, tell a funny story, and the day will be much more enjoyable.

3) Be Thankful

Maybe visiting family over Thanksgiving is particularly stressful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still reflect on all the good things that have happened this year. Start a conversation with your partner about what they are most thankful for this year. Try to keep the conversation going throughout the holidays until the New Year arrives and start it off with a positive outlook.

4) Wash Your Hands

Thanksgiving is the time of year when everyone gets sick. If you are going to a house full of people breathing the same air, it might be a good idea to keep your hands clean. Also, keep track of your glass. You don’t want to set down your tea and pick up someone else’s root beer. Winter is long enough – you don’t want to spend it being sick.

5) Take Deep Breaths

Family get-togethers can be stressful. Maybe you feel judged by your in-laws or maybe your grandma is an expert in guilt. Don’t let it get to you. When your father-in-law criticizes your child’s picky eating, take a deep breath, or go outside for some fresh air. Spend some time with your sister or your favorite uncle. Or hand your kid to your husband and take a break with your favorite piece of pie.

6) Stay Home

I know what you are thinking: this isn’t an option! However, if you and your spouse prefer to celebrate at home this year, give each other permission to do what you want to do. Sit on your couch in your pajamas and eat pizza if that’s your thing. At some point in your marriage, you may want to start your own family traditions and now is the perfect time.