Thanksgiving is about family spending time with those we love most, but we often spend at least half of the day separated tending to different tasks. What if there was a way to unite more of those activities and make the day more memorable? Here are three ways to get the whole family involved this Thanksgiving.
1. Assign a Meal Item to Each Member
Because Thanksgiving is such a food-centric holiday, cooking is obviously a large part of the day. Instead of leaving all the kitchen responsibilities to one or two family members, get everyone involved by assigning a meal item (or kitchen duty) to each member. Luckily, Thanksgiving recipes range from novice to expert and hot to cold, allowing you the flexibility to find the perfect match for each person.
Also, because some recipes don’t even require the use of an oven or stove, they don’t need to be prepared in the kitchen if you are running short on space. Lastly, if you have a family member who is uncomfortable with the idea of preparing food, they can help keep the kitchen tidy while everyone else is cooking. By including everyone in the preparation of the dinner, you’ll have the chance to spend more time together, and the meal itself will be a team effort; a win-win.
2. Schedule Fun Throughout the Day for Everybody
On Thanksgiving, families usually end up in separate spaces due to their different interests. To keep everyone together, try addressing each person’s favorite activity at some point during the day. The key to making this work is sacrifice. Each family member will have to agree to give up a bit of personal time doing something they love in exchange for spending time with the group doing something they may not like as much. However, the reward is gaining a closer relationship with family on a special day. Here’s an example of what a scheduled Thanksgiving day may look like:
8:00 AM Go for a morning walk (Mom’s Request)
9:00 AM Watch the Macy’s Day Parade (Aunt Jane’s Request)
11:00 AM Cook Thanksgiving dinner as a family
1:00 PM Eat while watching football (Dad’s Request)
4:00 PM Go to the park (Paisley’s Request)
5:00 PM Play Videogames (Austin’s Request)
6:30 PM Look through the Black Friday ads (Grandma’s Request)
3. Thanksgiving Party Games
The final tip for adding a bit of excitement to your family’s day is throwing a few games into the mix. Read these ideas:
- Blowing Leaves. Divide into teams. Each team will blow a leaf across the table or counter with a straw. Play until everyone has a turn. The first team to get through all their team members will win.
- Guess Who is Thankful. When your guests arrive, ask them to write something they are thankful for. Later, read the notes aloud and the others will guess who wrote them.
- For Thanksgiving Dinner I Had: A memory game that begins with a guest stating, and finishing, the phrase “For Thanksgiving dinner I had”. The next person then repeats the first guest’s sentence, adding another food item at the end. The first guest to correctly repeat the entire Thanksgiving menu wins.
- For more details on the games above and others like them, click here.
Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so every minute is precious. With these three tips, you can maximize your time together and build long-lasting memories that everyone will cherish. Review the list to find the activities that work for your family, then start planning your best Thanksgiving day yet.