1. Don't Be Afraid To Ask: Although you probably don't have time for an earful of drama between getting the turkey out on time and making sure the dog doesn't steal the stuffing off the table, try the simple tactic of asking. There might be something you could remedy or even engage the grouch with a few wonderful memories of days gone by to lighten things up a little. If they just need to get away for a bit, there's always somewhere open selling ice!
2. Naps Are OK: Depending on your family's traditions, Thanksgiving might be a few hours worth of interaction or it could be an entire weekend. Suggest a nap in a bedroom or corner out of the way and see if a little refreshing helps. Hot tea or a taste test of the turkey if it's been done in advance…what? It's not like it's a real drug, a little turkey and a little sleep is a good thing!
3. Laughter Is Infectious: If you're not afraid of having a little help, invite the frowny-friend into the kitchen to lend a hand. There's always something that needs to be done and with them in ear shot, you're free to share funny story or tale while having a good laugh.
4. Engage The Group: If someone is having a real funk of a mood, try engaging the whole group in something. You could take the group on a walk around the neighborhood, play a game or talk about holiday plans for the month coming up…putting everyone on the same page will help the little gray raincloud in the group outside of themselves for a minute and participate.
5. Be Blunt: When worst comes to worst and no amount of sunshine, hugs and old stories will lighten the mood, there's no shame in saying, "Aunt Bertha lighten up, it's the holidays." Often the source of frumpiness can stem from conversation about hot topics. We're not saying you should always stick to the weather, but if you have all sorts of political views in attendance, there's nothing wrong with stepping in and asking everyone to retract their claws and chat about something more full of holiday spirit…who wants to go Black Friday shopping?
Do you have a friend or family member who always has something negative to say? How do you end up lightening the mood? Let us know below!