Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Creative Ideas for Thanksgiving (and the Thanksgiving Dinner Table)

Lots of visitors to my blog still arrive from an entry I posted last year about game ideas for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Here are 10 additional ideas to make your time together as a family more fun!

1. Start story time. Remember when mom...? or remember when Cousin Fred broke his foot skiing….?
2. Using a journal or notebook, jot down a thought about previous get-togethers. Encourage others to do the same and add to it each year.
3. Ask a grandparent, aunt or uncle to talk about a memory from childhood. Ask questions to show interest. You'll be surprised at how much they remember.
4. Talk about a family vacation. Hopefully with time, even the less-than-pleasant memories will be fun to recall now. Hopefully!
5. Start a new tradition. Have the kids make placemats, placecards or help with dessert. Often the kids are stationed at a separate table and that can be fun, too. After the meal, think about how everyone can come together for a fun time doing a special activity together.
6. Some families “draw names” for Christmas at the Thanksgiving gathering. We did this in my mother’s family and it was always a time we looked forward to each Thanksgiving with anticipation.
7. Create a simple craft tradition. Even teens and adults can enjoy a fun craft. If you have an hour or two of open time, a choice of crafts can easily fill that time and help to create fun memories. Be sure to take pictures to document the occasion.
8. Play a game. As obvious as it is, sometimes just a fun game can help keep everyone occupied and out of trouble. Apples to Apples, Banana Grams, Scrabble, Outburst and more come to mind. What’s the favorite in your family?
9. Set up a puzzle table. Some people love to have an activity but just aren’t the game type. Consider setting up a game table in the corner for these folks with a puzzle. You’ll be amazed at just how many people can’t resist stopping by to place a piece or two - or a hundred! Word searches are popular with the older crowd, too.
10. Keep a camera handy. You’ll want to take photos to commemorate the kids playing, grandparents playing with the babies and that infamous football game in the backyard. Memories are priceless and photos help us to remember them longer.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I wish you and yours a blessed holiday!