Grateful, Thankful & Blessed

One of my favorite holidays is just about here. Everything that revolves around Thanksgiving brings me so much joy! The season, the colours, fresh air, family, friends and the abundance of food. It may be cliché but a chance to really pause for a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for always brings some much needed balance into our lives. In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving the first Monday of October ( For the American readers). So here we are October already! Most of us will be attending or hosting at least one Thanksgiving meal with our loved ones this weekend.

How often do we attend a family get together that consists mostly of having conversation and eating? Now there is nothing wrong with that but if you don’t often get to spend time with these people all under the same roof at the same time I think it’s fair to say that making more memories would be something everyone would be interested in.

In this post I will provide you with five activities you can do when you get together with your family and friends this weekend.

1. Go for a stroll: This can be done no matter where you live but let’s be real it will definitely take it to another level if you live close to a forest or trail to check out the ever changing colours this time of the year. After a meal with all the fixings we all are usually ready for a nap. What better way to make room for dessert and burn a few calories then to get out with everyone for a stroll. This activity is perfect for all ages and a win if there are a lot of little kids around. Finding a park along the way will also benefit the kids and the big kids at heart.

2. A good old game of pigskin (aka football): I don’t know about your family get together’s but for us at some point during the day the guys usually congregate downstairs to watch some type of sport. I have hosted family meals with 28 people and the transition from dinner to dessert can get a bit crazy when you step back into your kitchen to find the feast has been ransacked and fully enjoyed by your guests. This may be the perfect time to send the troops outside to play a game of touch football or even soccer. We have a soccer field directly behind our house so it is perfect to get a game going. However you don’t need a ton of room to throw or kick a ball around. If you have a park or field close by you could walk over or load up the vehicles and away you go. As most of you know by now I have four very active children and I am always thinking of ways to have them and other children burn off the extra energy they consume. This gets them outside and running around for a bit before they devour all the sugar loaded sweetness dessert has to offer. Now please dont take this the wrong way i’m not trying to be sexist but the reality is the ladies especially the aunts during family get together’s know how to get the kitchen back into its original state in lightening speed. We use it as a chance to catch up over clearing and washing dishes. So even better that during this busy time the house becomes a bit less hectic with some of the group gone. For them to return and ready for round #2 dessert! A tip have the group that went out to play clean up from dessert. Just saying!😉 Or have everyone help and later all go out to get some fresh air and throw the ball around.

3. Bring out the board games: Who doesn’t enjoy a good board game? This is another activity that the kids all the way up can enjoy. Pull out the games you have or have guest bring some along. A good one that the kids for sure will enjoy is Pie Face. We love getting games from thrift stores and just picked up Pie Face Show Down last week for $2.99. I’m sure everyone will have an ample supply of whip cream to go with the pumpkin pie. If you don’t have board games divide the group and play a few rounds of charades. This gets everyone interacting and plenty of laughing will be had!

4. Crafting for the children: If dinner is being hosted by Great aunt So and So her home may not be that child friendly. We want to keep the children busy because for the most part that means they will stay out of trouble. Bring out a craft for them to do. I actually do not recommend anything advanced here just something for them to do to pass some time with their cousins and other children. On Pinterest if you search “easy Thanksiving crafts for children” a ton of crafts come up. Keeping in mind you are at Great aunt So and So’s, I dont know if a craft that requires painting would be the best option. A leaf wreath or a leaf turkey is fairly easy and at this time of the year there is no shortage of leaves.

Also to keep life really easy most dollar stores have craft kits that you can grab if you don’t have time to put something together. Check the isle that has all of the fall decor they may even have crafts there. If crafting sounds like too much to put together turn it into a dance party. What child doesn’t like to dance? Grab a cell phone and turn on some music or crank up the stereo system to start your own dance off! Join in and let loose (dont forget dancing burns calories too)

5. Strike up a conversation: Sometimes when the group of people is so large its near impossible to sit down and chat with everyone. Pick someone you haven’t had a chance to connect with for a while and strike up a conversation. If your grandparents are still alive they would be the best to sit down with. Its building memories as you sit and maybe just let them talk about years past. Nothing better than listening to them share stories of their “glory days” and to see their face light up with excitement, joy and pride is truly priceless. Memory sharing is fun at any age, this could be good pre dinner, dinner or post dinner convo. Share stories as a group.

  • The greatest day of my life
  • The best thing to happen in my life this year
  • My favourite memory from childhood
  • The funniest thing that every happened to me
  • The list is endless and again lots of laughter and some tears will come from this.

All in all this may be just be another family get together but to some people they yearn to be surrounded by family at this time of year. We are told to make the most of the time we have with our loved ones so whatever you do as always I encourage you to make memories during your time together. Continue the traditions you have and maybe incorporate something new. I know for our family Thanksgiving dinner wont be the same this year without my loving grandmother present. She will be missed as we gather around the table while she is at home fighting with everything she has in her to ward off the nasty disease cancer is. Hands down my grandma makes the best pumkin pie and we love her dearly!

I would love to hear from you and what you do at your family gatherings. Share your comments below.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

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