Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to come together with family and friends to eat and give thanks for the many blessings that you have received. But after dinner, what’s next? Do not just allow the kids to retreat to their cell phones and/or tablets. Do not let the adults pack their plates and sit around long enough so they are not talked about for eating then leaving. Choose a couple of things from the list below to entertain your family and make memories. After all, the biggest blessing is that you are able to be together.
1. Take a family portrait: This is a perfect time to take a family portrait because it may be one of the few times your family is together, happy, and dressed to impress. You could even set a theme for the portrait such as, Christmas PJs or Super heroes, etc. The key is to do it at the perfect time. If everyone arrives on time, take it before dinner. If your family is like mines, it would be best to take it after dinner because there is no way everyone will be there on time; just make sure you take it before people start packing to-go containers. Do not stress, if everyone does not make the picture, that’s an incentive for them to join in next year.
2. Play Games: Playing games is a great way to get everyone involved in an activity, learn things you didn’t know, and to have a good time. The keys are choosing games that people of all ages can play and not putting all of the kids on the same team. Need ideas? Here’s a list of “tried and true” games for the whole family:
a. “Taboo” or “Catch Phrase” – Word guessing games that you can easily find at Walmart or Target.
b. “Heads Up” – A word guessing game with interesting categories and different levels. There is both an electronic and board game version. Therefore you can buy it on your cell phone or tablet or at a store where they sell games.
c. Trivia – There a number of different trivia games that you can play. This year I bought some cultural trivia games that I want to try. I also think it would be great to create your own “family” trivia games that includes questions about your family members. You can make it a whole game or just one category. If you do not feel like being creative, you can find a variety of trivia games in any toy store.
3. Make Christmas tree ornaments or cards: This is a fun way to bring the adults and kids together to create something that you can use year after year. It’s easy because there are no rules; just buy and/or gather craft supplies and designate a space for people to work. If you are competitive like me, you can make it a contest. Everyone votes on one adult and one kid winner.
4. Create mini vision boards: You do not have to wait until the New Year to start planning for it. Thanksgiving is a great time for reflection and after you reflect, plan for what you will do next. Vision boards can be done individually or you can make a family board. It would be great to add things to the vision board(s) that you can do as a family.
5. Talk to each other: I know this seems obvious but you know that this is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. Have everyone put their phones down during dinner or for at least one hour so that you can just talk. Listen to each other and ask questions. If you think you will need to facilitate this, come up with some questions to pose to the group.
I hope you are able to use some of these ideas to bond with your family. Feel free to let me know how it worked out for you.