Thanksgiving is a family holiday and you can make sure everyone enjoys themselves by getting people involved.
Even small children can play a part when preparing for Thanksgiving. Start with simple tasks and build to more complex roles as your children get older and more able to contribute. Here are a few ideas.
Youngest children: Even a toddler can draw a Thanksgiving picture to put on the front door to welcome guests. Any crafts created in preschool or grade school can grace a table or buffet. Assign simple duties such as helping to set the table to make them feel a part of the day.
Grade-school children: How about assigning each child a side dish to help create? Go over the menu and ask which dish sounds like the most fun to make. You may want to pull in an adult who is not the primary chef in the house to help make the dish – giving them a chance to bond and contribute to the holiday. Children at this age could also be responsible for setting the table and creating a Thanksgiving centerpiece.
High school children: By this age, a teen can take over one or more dishes for the Thanksgiving table. You might want to have them help plan the menu – adding appetizers or a special dessert to go along with the pumpkin pie. If there will be younger children attending, ask your teenager to come up with activities to keep the small fry entertained and out of trouble before, during and after the meal.
Take the time when at the table to ask everyone what they are thankful for from the past year. You might want to discuss the topic in advance with younger children so that they have a chance to think about their answers.
Finally, involve the children in the clean-up. The more hands to help, the faster your whole family can relax and digest that incredible dinner!
Would you like your Thanksgiving celebration to be more memorable this year? Here are just a few ideas to spark up the day.
Talk across the generations: For many people, as many as three or four generations of family members gather together. Take special advantage of this by planning some conversation starters that will get everyone involved.
Questions could include “What was your favorite Thanksgiving and why?” “What were the holidays like when you were a child?” or “What’s your favorite holiday food?” Add any other questions you think of and write them on pieces of paper or make a list. No matter the age range of your guests, the opportunity to share memories will contribute to a nice event.
Get everyone involved: If you have children, include them in the Thanksgiving preparations. Have every child take responsibility for one dish. Or if they’re too young for this, have them decorate the table with Thanksgiving-themed drawings or make name-plates or menus. Teach them the right way to set a table. Also ask Aunt Harriet to bring her famous potatoes, Uncle Bob to bring a nice bottle of wine or any other combination that works for you and your guests.
Remember the first Thanksgiving: Have your children research the first Thanksgiving feast and then tell about it at your own table. This gives them a chance to contribute to the discussion and reminds everyone of why we celebrate every year.
Say why you’re thankful: Before, during or after the meal, ask everyone to express what they are most thankful for this year. This is another reminder that the holiday is about more than food. And whether you have two or twenty at your Thanksgiving table, have a lovely memory-filled day.