Make a Gratitude Tree

Well, I’m guilty. Along with many others I’ve been pretty depressed the last few months. I haven’t had the energy to post since August. I’m sorry for that but I’m also forgiving myself too. Reflecting on everything that has happened to the world over the last 9 months is heart wrenching. It’s easy to descend into the hopelessness this pandemic has caused.  

I’m an advocate for self-care. I wear my mask, wash my hands, stay at home and pray. But today I got up and said I’m thankful too! Thankful to be healthy, thankful to have the money to pay my bills and thankful that there is a light shining for all of us. I decided to make a Gratitude Tree for my little family this Thanksgiving. Even in the darkness there are things to be thankful for, I want to write them down!

The concept is pretty simple. Get a bunch of branches, tie or tape them together to create a tree. I’ve seen some people use plaster in a pot, some just use newspaper or florist foam. Whatever you conjure up will probably be awesome! Make some leaves (or any shape you like) to write on from construction paper, punch a hole in the top so you can hang them on your tree with ribbon or twine.

Encourage your family to fill out and hang messages the entire week before Thanksgiving. Then you can have someone read them at the dinner table while you dig into that scrumptious Turkey or Ham! I believe this exercise will bring new hope to everyone. Remembering our blessings is a good thing during times like these.

I trust you all have a good Holiday, God Bless you!

Thanksgiving Day Games (that aren’t about football)

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all about Football, try some of these games to bring the family together without betting on a team!

DINNER TABLE GAMES

For Thanksgiving I Had Game: This memory game incorporates your Thanksgiving feast and can be played while everyone is eating. The first person starts by saying “For Thanksgiving dinner I had turkey,” and then each subsequent player adds a food and repeats the entire reel of dishes said prior to his or her turn. Each person who can’t remember the full list is out. But don’t concentrate too hard—you wouldn’t want the stuffing to get cold.

The Thankful Alphabet Game: This one’s pretty straightforward and is another one you can play while eating dinner—plus, it’s also a great way to get everyone talking about what they’re thankful for. All you have to do is have each person share one thing they’re thankful for, but the catch is, it has to start with the next letter of the alphabet, starting with A (the next person’s response will start with B, and so on). Go around the table until the alphabet’s been filled—yes, even X and Z.

Thanksgiving Mad Lib Game: Mad Libs are a great Thanksgiving game because they can pass the time while you wait for dinner, or you can even play while you eat and the whole family can participate. Have everyone take turns calling out words until the whole sheet is filled, then read what is sure to be a funny (and at least somewhat festive) story aloud. Download the card here https://smallstuffcounts.com/thanksgiving-mad-lib/ 

WHILE THEY WATCH FOOTBALL GAMES

Turkey Bowling Game: With the help of some brown plastic cups, some construction paper, and some googly eyes, you can challenge the family to a friendly Thanksgiving bowling tournament. Use mini pumpkins or a tennis ball to bowl with, and try to knock down these super cute DIY turkey pins. You can find the tutorial here https://www.theseasonedmom.com/thanksgiving-game-turkey-bowling/

Thanksgiving Pictionary Game: Pictionary is always fun and you don’t have to be a seasoned artist to play. This Thanksgiving version is great for families to play after dinner, before dinner, or any time during the Thanksgiving season! I mean who couldn’t use a little movement after eating a huge slice of Pumpkin Pie! Printable cards and instructions are here https://www.playpartyplan.com/thanksgiving-pictionary-game/

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, thank you for following my blog!

 

 

 

A time saving Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been so stressful for me because I am usually the master cook – and trying to get everything on the table at the right time and making sure snacks and drinks are all out, I just go crazy! So, I have vowed to do less on the day and enjoy the people more! Here are a few tips that I am planning and maybe they will help you too! My plan is to only have to cook the Turkey and the Dinner Rolls (because we have to have Crescent rolls) on Thursday. I always Brine the turkey overnight and cook it by Spatchcocking it.  I tried this a few years ago and the difference in the juiciness is so tremendous I will never cook a Turkey any other way again. You can learn how to do this here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Lie172c3Y&t=3s . Because there are many ingredients for adding to the broth and roasting pan, I will precut all the vegetables and have them ready for the day. Simplifying the rest of the menu will help too. I know what my family likes and will make mashed potatoes and green beans with onions ahead of time. These can be microwaved just before dinner. I will get two dishes ready for the oven (they can go in with the Turkey) – Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes. The snacks can be simplified too and plated ahead of time so they are ready to put out. Purchased Cheese Ball and a Shrimp Ring are easy fixes. Dip with Chips and Veges are always a hit too and can be pre-made. Unfortunately, I am spoiled with homemade Cranberry Sauce but I make this early in the month and gift it to the mailperson and other service people before the holiday, so my jar is done too! A similar recipe to what I use is here (except I use Apple Juice not water)  https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/spiced-cranberry-sauce/ try it and you will never use canned again! Pies are a no brainer, with the magnificent bakeries locally I have that one wrapped up! We love Mulled Cider during the holidays so I prepare everything and throw in a Crockpot in the morning. Set it on low and guests can serve themselves when they want. Happy Thanksgiving!