One of my good friends Teresa Morrow of Key Business Partners shared this with me last year.
Scramble and Share
Rearrange (scrabble) the following 10 words that evoke the holiday (or use ones that have meaning for you). eg Thanks could be hksnat, Giving could be gnviig and so forth.
apple pieYou present the scrambled words (individually) to everyone on a chalkboard or printed and handed out to everyone one at a time. Ask them to raise their hands to say if they know the word. If they do know the word and they guess it correctly, then they get to share a special memory to them that describes that word. Don’t worry if you don’t to make it to all 10, if the conversation gets so great after 4, then let it be.
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Scrolls of Thanks
Create and print out a scroll for each member of your family, and tie each one with a piece of ribbon. Set your family scrolls in a place everyone will see between now and Thanksgiving, so that each family member is reminded, day by day, of this small love responsibility.
Tell them something like this:
“Inside each of these scrolls is a very short story. Each story is about one thing someone in our family gave to you which made you happy. The only rule is: it can’t be a thing. It has to be something someone in the family did for you.”
That’s it. Stress that there’s no writing involved– only speaking, at Thanksgiving Dinner, at the appropriate moment. Tell them there’s no rush at all. And that the story is fine even if it’s very short. It just has to be true. Then, at Thanksgiving, each family member symbolically unwraps his or her story, and tells it, in the warm, quiet palace of love. (Source: FamilyEducation.com)
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Giving Thanks by the Numbers
Have your guests chose a number between 1 and 5 and put it in the Thanksgiving box. When they draw it out they have to talk about the number of things they are most thankful for to them right now (corresponding with the number they draw). E.g. – If you draw a “one” you can share one thing, and so on… Of course, if folks want to share more, and they will… that is great and really adds to the discussion. This is a good thing to do around the table during desert or to kick-off the meal celebration.
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The Thanksgiving Box
One year I asked everyone to write down what they were grateful for and put it in the Thanksgiving Box (a shoebox which I decorated just for the occassion). During desert each person drew out a piece of paper from the box and read what was on it. They could either guess who wrote it or the person could simply tell us it was her or him.
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Every year I host Thanksgiving dinner and like to incorporate some sort of “activity” into the meal. Here’s a list of things we have done as well as some sent to us by friends. We would love to hear your ideas too. If you have an activity or tradition in your home, we would be delighted to learn of it and post it to this page. You can send your idea to email@example.com with Thanksgiving Traditions in the subject line.
Every day this week I will be posting a new activity to Tulips Talk. Here’s the first one
One year my daughters and I painted different words on river rocks and then put them in small (2 inch) bags decorated for fall. We placed them on a tray and at the end of the meal (during desert) we asked everyone to pick a bag from the bowl. We then asked each person what the word they had chosen meant to them. Some of the words we used included: Thanks, Gratitude, Freedom, Love, Sacrifice, Friendship, Family, Joy, Attitude, Health, Fun, and Laughter.
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