Thanksgiving always holds a special place in my heart. It’s the holiday that gives me those warm and fuzzy feelings, brings back so many wonderful memories and sets a tone for the season ahead. For us, it usually marks the start of getting to see our families more frequently, spending more time with friends, slowing down our pace a bit (even if it’s just for a day or two!) and truly just enjoying being in the moment. It’s not that we’re not thankful throughout the year, because I can’t think of a day that goes by that I’m not thankful, but there’s a sense of love and gratefulness that shines much brighter on this day. Instead of posting our Thanksgiving table or what we’ll be cooking this year, I wanted to share five thoughtful actions you can do with family or friends when getting together. Each of them are simple and easy to do (even last minute), but add a personal touch to the day.
1. For the hostess to try:
Take the term “hostess with the mostest” to the next level and let each of your guests know what exactly it is about them that you’re thankful for. Use blank ‘Thank You’ cards as seating cards and write one reason why you appreciate the person sitting in that seat.
2. Pick a new holiday tradition!
Have everyone write down on a piece of paper an idea for a new holiday tradition. Put all suggestions into a bowl and have the hostess pick out 3 ideas. Then let everyone vote on their favorite one among the 3. Traditions are the most fun and hilarious ways to make memories with the family.
3. Share a favorite recipe!
There’s nothing better than a no-fail recipe to share with family or friends that will bring everyone together for years to come. Pass on the love and attach a recipe card to a plate of leftovers to send home with guests. Include a festive recipe for them to try between now and Christmas, and if they love it enough they may even make it a regular dish of theirs beyond the holidays.
4. Let your guests pass on the love too!
Put a blank piece of paper and pen on top of each place setting and have that person write down one thing they’re thankful for about the person sitting to their right. Whether it’s a new face at the table or a cousin you rarely get to see throughout the year, each guest has a lovely note to take home and leaves with a happier heart knowing they’re appreciated and welcomed.
5. Have games ready to play!
Since the time leading up to the meal can sometimes be hectic with cooks cooking and people coming and going, we love the time together after the meal. Every year, without fail, once everyone in our family is stuffed with food (and some drinks have been had), we pull out the games. From Monopoly, to Heads Up, to Left Right Center and Cards Against Humanity (for once the kids go to bed!)- we play them all. We can play for hours, laughing and smiling and of course going back for round two of dessert or for leftovers.