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First Thanksgiving Tips

Is this your first Thanksgiving as a couple? What goes without saying in your head on this holiday?

Is preparing the meal and setting the table a joint project? Or should the non-cook stay out of the way?

Does the football schedule dictate the flow of the day? Or is it your nieces' and nephews' schedules, as they try to fit in two divorced parents and three or four sets of grandparents? Or perhaps the turkey's popup timer?

Does cooking the meal get you out of washing the dishes? Is dishwashing a communal project and gab fest for the women at your gathering? Or is it best left for after all the guests have gone?

If you're not hosting this dinner, should couples stay together and support each other among so many slightly familiar faces or join in with whatever group or activity interests them?

Are guests expected to bring something to a gathering? If so, is it wine? Green bean casserole? A dessert? Or a gift for the hostess?

I ask because no matter what your picture looks like, it is not the one in your spouse's mind. And that makes this holiday a chance to get angry over dashed expectations or to try something new and see how it goes. You choose.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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