With Thanksgiving centred around traditions, this is an ideal time to revisit old traditions - and start new ones. We are looking to make the holiday entertaining as easy as we can for you with ten fun ideas focused on bringing everyone together!
1. Grandma's Recipes
Now is a great time to ask your Parent's and Grandparent's for their favourite recipes, so that you have them in time for baking and cooking the holiday meal. Go digital with this idea; use technology to your advantage and have them take a photo with their phone of their recipes, so that you can transcribe or just work straight from the photo. No index cards, no papers getting lost.
2. Group Photo
Plan this one out in advance with selecting the optimum spot where everyone will be posed for the photo, and where you can place your phone for taking the photo. Find the timer function on your phone camera and set it for 10 seconds so that you can run over to be in the photo too. Plus it's hilarious for everyone to be counting down with the timer, making for lots of giggles and happy faces when the shutter clicks! Take two photos, three at the most.
3. Sharing Circle
Have a fun item, that is easy for anyone to hold onto - say a turkey stuffed animal - and pass it around to each person gathered - the "circle". The person holding the item can share something fun or new that has just happened to them. Examples could be starting a new dance class, or a project they are overseeing at work, or a new pet. The idea is to share something that may not be brought up in conversation, so that everyone gathered gets to learn something new about the person sharing.
4. Toast the Gathering
Lots of families have traditional prayers that they say at Thanksgiving. Lots of families don't, but there may be a feeling that something needs to be said. Either way, having the gathered folks elect an official "toastmaker" to toast the meal as it starts is a fun way to being the meal!
Share memories of loved ones who have passed. This is an important thing to do for the younger set of the family, as they may not have met "Grandma" or "Grandpa". Oral tellings of their ancestors adventures & lives is a wonderful way to build a connection with those who came before. Especially when the children are hearing of these tales folks other than their own parents.
6. Game Time
Plan ahead of time to have a selection of easy to play board and card games for everyone to join in after the meal is done. A simple few rounds of Fish can keep everyone engaged without the need to continue conversation if some of the group are talked out.
7. Take A Stroll Around the Neighbourhood
If your Thanksgiving meal is set for late afternoon as opposed to the evening, heading outside after the meal is done is a lovely way to reset, refresh and enjoy the colours of Fall with your loved ones.
Plan ahead for an easy 5 minute walk to a nearby destination such as a park. If there isn't a specific destination nearby, plan for route that will take about 15 minutes to walk at regular speed. As everyone will be walking and talking, the stroll will be slower, making for an easy to enjoy experience outside. With there being a route set ahead of time, you can easily lead your guests (who may not be familiar with your neighbourhood) on the walk without having to think and without going too far.
8. Do Good For Others
Create a food drive out of your gathering by asking everyone to bring one non-perishable item to the dinner.
9. Document the Fun
As the evening winds down, hand out a piece of paper and pen/pencil/crayon to each person gathered. Have them write down their favourite memory of the gathering you've all just had. Collect them all and tuck them away, to bring them out for the following year's gathering where everyone can read them and recollect how much fun they had this year!
10. Write Thank You Notes
Mark the occasion by writing thank you cards to each person who attended the gathering.
A fun way to do this would be to write them out in advance, thanking them for coming to the Thanksgiving dinner, and telling them one thing that you really enjoy about them as a person. When the evening is wrapping up, you can hand each guest their thank you card as they head home.
Thanksgiving is coming up on Monday, October 10th!