Cousin Carl has been in the bathroom for over an hour and your house uses a septic tank.

Uncle Steve is discussing, citing real evidence, why women never should have gotten the right to vote in the first place.

Aunt Midge keeps telling you how good you look – now that you’ve put on so much weight (complete with belly pokes).

Something smells really good in the kitchen.

It must be Thanksgiving again!

You love your family. But sometimes, this delightful holiday can be enough to send you into the corner with a certifiable mental disorder. How can our own families drive us to a breakdown? More importantly, what can we do to lessen the stress of Thanksgiving? Not being a trained psychologist, I have still taken it upon myself to put together a few Thanksgiving tips.

1) Understand that your extended family might not think the same way you think. You should, like Bill says, avoid talking about religion, sex and politics. The political climate these days has been responsible for tearing families apart. Is it worth an ugly family scene to engage in a yelling match across a festively decorated table? No, it is not. You are not going to change anyone’s mind over the green bean casserole, and, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter.

2) Go easy on the alcohol. A lot of us have unresolved family complications. That’s what happens when you’ve spent your entire life around the same group of people. Resentments build up. Remember: in wine there is truth and, just maybe, your uncle doesn’t need to know how angry you are for something he did five years ago. If you’d like to have a civilized, sober discussion in private, you can always do that at another time. Bringing up years’ worth of old wounds while tipsy won’t be good for anyone.

3) Enjoy yourself! I know it makes no sense when I’m telling you to keep your opinions to yourself and to do it soberly. However, these are your people. Presidents will come and go, new offenses will crop up, but this is the group who share your bloodline. Find common ground and appreciate your tribe for who they are. Also, the world is an uncertain place. Spend time with your family and consider yourself fortunate for the privilege of being able to do so.

If, after the holidays, you need to decompress, you can always visit your Bourke Accounting associate. Not only are our Bourke Accounting specialists willing to lend an ear regarding your financial issues, the offices are very soothing – gentle music, lovely décor and, maybe if you’re lucky, Bill’s dogs (they are really calming) will be there. Besides being financial experts, all of our Bourke Accounting colleagues come complete with a sympathetic shoulder to lean on during this hectic holiday season.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Sue H.