As we near the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, many of us get very anxious about all there is to do, for example the planning, the shopping, the cleaning, the cooking, the getting-ready-to-deal-with-crazy family (are you stressed out yet?), that we forget to enjoy the season and even have fun. Yes, it is a lot of work, especially if you are the one hosting everyone for the big day, but we wanted to give you our top five suggestions to add a little fun, maybe even create a special tradition, and help bring you back to that centered place of thankfulness. So with that in mind, here is a little glimpse at the things that have been fun for our family, and may be fun for yours.
- Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. The parade was first held in 1924, and has been televised since 1948. I don’t know about you, but I remember watching it when I was young, and seeing those giant balloons, beautiful floats, the Radio City Rockettes, and then ultimately the arrival of Santa Claus was a magical magical way to start the holiday. Every year I get excited about it because it takes me right back to my youth. Watch it with your kids so that they’ll feel that same way one day!
- The centerpiece contest. This is a great way to keep the kids busy while you’re busy cooking. A few days before Thanksgiving we pull out the craft box, buy a few new things if we need them, so we’re ready to set up an art station. There, we’ll turn the kids lose to create their best centerpiece for the table. On Thanksgiving day, we line them up and let everyone vote for their favorite. The winner goes in the center of the table, and the others get placed about the house to add to the decor. The kids really have fun with this, and because they all ultimately go on display, there usually aren’t any hard feelings.
- Share a bowlful of gratitude. As your family and friends arrive, have them write down what they are thankful for on a small piece of paper that can be folded and dropped in the gratitude bowl. At dinner time, you can pass the bowl around and have each person pull a paper and read what is written on it. This is lovely tradition that really helps remind everyone why we’ve all come together to celebrate.
- Have the children put on a play, dance performance, or talent show. This is a sly way to keep them busy practicing for their performance and putting together routines while you’re busy preparing dinner, and it is wonderful fun for the grandparents to enjoy while waiting for dinner to be served. The kids in our family look forward to this each year, and we all love to see them get so creative.
- The Thanksgiving night movie. In the late evening, the men of the family load up the kids (usually they go in their pajamas) and head out to see whatever movie is the hot new release. This is a really fun tradition for the kids that they really look forward to, and it gives the ladies a chance to get on our jammies, have a glass of wine, put away the food, clean up if we feel like it, and do a little hard-earned relaxing. Or… Flip the script! Ladies take the kids out and leave the guys home to take care of the wreckage.
Of course there are so many traditions and ideas, and each is as unique as the family who shares them. We would love to hear about yours! You can comment here, or share with us on our Facebook page. We always want to hear from you!