MEDITATE. Meditate before attending your dinner. Sometimes we are stuck in the past by remembering how wrong the other person treated us. Through meditation you can become aware of the present moment, your feelings and regulate your breathing. Meditation is a great tool to get yourself grounded and to remind you of your power.
CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITH A POSITIVE MINDSET. Shift your preset mindset from "Crap Thanksgiving dinner with them!" to "I'm going to be contagiously happy no matter what."
BE AWARE OF YOUR EGO. Drop the lightsaber my friend. Is your ego on defense mode? fearful? snappy? Tune it in to zen mode by remembering that these people are in front of you because they are your teachers. Yeap. Don't go yet. I'll explain. Difficult people are our challenges, our teachers. They trigger the mighty righteous ego. Once you decide to control the ego, you can then bring into the surface the best version of yourself.
TAKE A BREAK. If the situation gets difficult, find a room to practice mindful breathing. This will help you go back to your self, not your head and regulate your emotions. If you need to go for a walk then do it. Excuse yourself and go for a walk and practice walking meditation.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE OTHER PERSON'S SUFFERING. Remember when difficult people are pouring negativity, it's because they are suffering. They don't know how to efficiently manage their feelings. Once you acknowledge this, it opens the door for you to offer kindness to everyone in your family.
SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. You can verbalize "I find your comment hurtful." Start with the "I" instead of "Your comments are hurtful." Accusatory sentences can create more conflict. Starting with the "I" lets the person know you are speaking from a place of vulnerability. Being vulnerable is courageous.