With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you may have started thinking about which meals you're going to bring to your annual family turkey feast. However, while the meal is definitely an exciting part of the day, Thanksgiving presents a rare opportunity for all of your loved ones to reunite. Make sure that you're making the most of your family gathering with activities that bring everyone together.
Thanksgiving traditions usually include gathering around the television to watch football or the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While this can be fun, it doesn't allow loved ones to catch up or fully enjoy their time together. Incorporate these five family activities into the day to make this Thanksgiving one to remember.
1. Participate in a community run
Most towns and cities host a race called a "turkey trot." Walk or run in your local race as a family to start Thanksgiving off right. These events usually donate the entry fee to a good cause, such as a soup kitchen, to provide holiday meals for those in need. Others require you to donate a bag of canned foods before entering the race. Community runs are also good for working up an appetite before your turkey feast.
2. Break out the Christmas decor
Many people consider the day after Thanksgiving the official start to the holiday season and its festivities. After you and your family have enjoyed your turkey day meal, don't retreat to the couches for cat naps and television. Keep the energy going and get everyone excited about the approaching Christmas celebrations. Take the kids to pick out a tree and have everyone decorate it together. Play Christmas tunes, get a fire going and even whip up some eggnog to kick off the season. This is a fun prelude to your holiday gathering a few weeks down the road. It's also a great way to help your parents decorate their home if they're hosting and need assistance lifting and reaching things.
3. Volunteer as a family
There's no better way to give back during the holidays than by participating in a local food drive or soup kitchen. Even if you just have everyone in your family bring a couple of canned foods to the local food drive, you and your loved ones will be making a big impact in someone's life. Check VolunteerMatch.org for events going on in your area. There may be a dinner held for families in need, which you and your relatives can make a few extra dishes for. Volunteering is an effective way to teach the young ones to appreciate what they have and the importance of giving back to others.
"Have the kids make place cards for everyone."
4. Arts and crafts for the kids
It may be fun for the adults to sit down and share stories and reminisce, especially if they haven't seen one another for a long time. However, it's important to give the kids something to do so that they're entertained. Providing arts and crafts is an easy way to keep the toddlers happy and busy. Have them help with the table setup for dinner by making place cards for everyone. They'll love the idea of helping with the dinner table decorations. Parent magazine also recommended laying out a large paper tablecloth on the kids' table so that they can draw and color while they eat. This also makes cleaning up at the end of the meal easier.
5. Get creative with outdoor games
If it's a nice day out, it can be fun to enjoy the last bit of fall foliage before the snowy skies and frosty temperatures move in. The whole family might enjoy a game of capture the flag, touch football or basketball. To incorporate Thanksgiving into your outdoor activity, introduce a creative game like "tail feather tag." At the start of the game, everyone uses a different color to decorate their clothespin. You can attach googly eyes to make it look like a turkey. Everyone attaches their pin to their shirt. Once the game starts, the players try to steal everyone else's pins without losing their own. If they do lose their pin, they're out. The last person with their pin wins.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living