Thanksgiving is a time of feasting, and fellowship. Through fellowship we can encourage one another, laugh together, and maybe even learn something new about each other. Gathering for fellowship is good for the soul. Throughout the years, our Thanksgiving celebration has increased in numbers, ages, and waist bands. The question is how do you make your guests feel welcome while still tending to meal prep? It can sometimes be tricky. The answer:
Planning intentional activities for the guests before and after the meal helps them feel welcomed. Not everyone is a conversationalist, and activities provide a focal point of something to do rather than relying on the art of conversation alone. You want your guests to have a great time and activities will help them have fun and feel comfortable.
So let's get this party started.
THE ACTIVITY STATIONS: After you have welcomed your guests you can direct them to certain stations that have been set up around your home. If it's nice outside, you can use the deck.
THE MUSIC STATION
Playing background music helps set the mood and creates a certain energy level. Picking the right music is important. Pandora has a Thanksgiving station. You can play an upbeat sound like Frank Sinatra when everyone is gathering, but during the meal and share time, switch to something quieter like instrumental hymns. This style won't be overbearing. Music covers the "cricket chirp" moments that make us uncomfortable. I don't like cricket moments and they are not invited to the party.
THE DRINK STATION
Offer the guests to help themselves to a beverage and maybe some party mix to enjoy while they wait.
THE CRAFT STATION
Guests can congregate to the craft station to make thankful feather headbands to wear. This is mandatory at our home and must for be worn during the meal. It's fun to see the young and old alike wearing construction paper on their heads.
Other activity ideas:
Take a turkey quiz.
Have a turkey coloring contest.
Create a quiz about the first Thanksgiving.
Give a quiz about our nation's history.
Assign name/bio of a pilgrim that journeyed to America to each guest.Then have them talk about their pilgrim journey around the table.
One year we made our table cloth out of tan paper and provided crayons so the kids could draw.
Be creative. You could assign activity project to an older son/daughter.
Our Thanksgiving quiz book that my brother Owen created.
PAPER TABLE CLOTH
Need I say more?
(To fight tryptophan)
Doing the dishes together should be an activity. Encourage everyone including the men to take part. Take out the scraps, wash the big pans, dump the trash... everyone can do something. The point is that we are celebrating together. And when we all pitch in, we can all enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
GO FOR A WALK
These are just some ideas to help you in your celebration. Be creative and get your children involved. They will love the memories you will be creating.
I give thanks to you oh Lord with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.