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Creative Thanksgiving Deconstruction

Creative Thanksgiving Deconstruction

We get it! You want to be with family for Thanksgiving, but maybe:

  • Your state is restricting it (Oh, believe us, we are compassionate to those with Governors who are gifted at government over-reach. We live in CA!le)
  • Your family might be afraid. Everyone has their own comfort levels.
  • You may have family members who are higher risk (elderly or morbidity issues)
  • Travel feels nearly impossible under current restrictions

Whatever the reason, you still long for real family interpersonal connection. In cooking, some of the best meals  come when you deconstruct favorites and give them a new twist. We have taken a few family and holiday  favorites and given them a new slant. Here are a few ideas to enrich the relationship side of this holiday:

If ZOOM is the ROOM:

We have always been a far-flung family, which was not too much of a challenge UNTIL we became caregivers to Bill’s 91-year-old parents AND COVID-19 hit. Until COVID-19, we had more hands-on medical help, but during the quarantine, we are main caregivers. With these factors in place, it has been nearly 11 months since we have seen most of our family. Because of this, we have become highly creative with zoom and Facebook video messenger. We host a monthly birthday bash. These are a few of the themes and activities. Here are a few ideas to add in some fun and create memories.

YeeHaw! :Bar-Be-que and Line Dancing – I sent gift cards for the ribs, we all wore cowboy/cowgirl country attire, then one of my sons led us in a line dance lesson.

Princess Pictionary: We all dressed royal and then I gave “drawing” assignments related to those with “royal” birthdays.

Sundae Sunday I sent ice cream gift cards and we shared favorite summer memories as we ate ice cream treats.

Paint and Sip: I sent art kits and each family brought their own refreshments. The kids painted ahead o time, but we had them do a virtual art show explaining the inspiration of their work.

Rocking Good Time: I sent paint and asked the family to gather rocks and paint inspiring words on them. We read the picture book, Scribble Stones” then walked and placed hope, joy, love, peace, etc. along pathways in each of our neighborhoods

Chalked Full of Hope: I sent colored chalk kits to each family and asked them to do an inspirational verse or Easter saying. We called this driveway evangelism, and we gained inspiration from each other’s creativity.

Masquerade Ball: We all are required to wear masks in this pandemic, so you can either decorate them and host a competition or skip the medical masks and wear costumes!

Dance Party: We had a family dance off! Last family member left dancing was the winner. Our 4 hear old granddaughter wins every time! It is also fun to make up NEW dance moves. (I am working on the “Pandemic pivot!”)

How Sweet It Is: Zoom from your kitchens and share dessert recipes, and if possible, box them up and mail samples after.

(Note: usually there is a “story time” and perhaps a children’s game like Simon Sez as a part of each Zoom hour—and the Zooms end with a family share and prayer time.)

If LIVE is the JIVE

Instead of looking at what you can NOT do, look for what you still CAN DO:

Paint Your Prayers: Each draw or paint a world post pandemic

Play a Family Football game in the back yard or a round of frisbee golf in the park

Take a Thankful Walk where you thank and praise God for everything you see (a kind of spiritual “Eye Spy” activity.

Hike someplace inspiring or hike to raise money for a worthy cause.

Drive a country road and stop for a prayer time at sunset

Do a craft together (I just made a Thankful wreath with my granddaughter- each family member will share one thing they are thankful for and the wreath will become the table centerpiece)

Hold a contest: Try dominos lined up, then tipped over; giant Jenga, cornhole, horseshoes, red cup towers (Or T.P. stacking!) I purchased new ping pong paddles and balls so the Farrels who can gather will help the kids have a more fun day with a tourney (I will let you know in an upcoming newsletter, so be sure to sign up for our monthly Living Love-Wise Community Update)

Radiant Joy sheet where each family fills in praises SINCE Covid began (look for silver lining)

Live Your Legacy: Plan a whole day doing activities and games of your heritage (We are McMillians and McBeans, so some backyard “Scottish games” would be our plan)

Create Your Family Crest: Here is an except from 10 Best Decisions Every Parent Can Make on how to create your own family compass.

Freebie Fun: In our just released 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make book, we give simple, and almost free ideas like Make a Thankful Tree, and over the thanksgiving weekend people write praises, items of gratitude and appreciation and tapes to the Thankful Tree’ Or rake real leaves and jump into the pile; Create a Thankful Chain, take strips of paper and write items you are thankful for and hang chain as garland over your doorway.

Make a Mini Movie to send digitally to your far away family.

Pinterest Perfectly Imperfect Party: Have each family member hop on Pinterest and select and idea for the family to do together

Backyard (or Basement) Build Out: Take the weekend to add entertainment items to your family treasure trove: Make a corn hole set, a tree house, bean bag toss, ring toss over bottles, etc.

Make homemade

– ice cream and have a bar of toppings

– waffles and topping bar

– coco/coffee and mix ins

– smore variety bar and roast over a firepit

Our family is praying for your family to have a blessed thanksgiving—no matter if you are physically near or far—we are praying your will be close at heart.

For his anger lasts only a momen
t, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
(Psalm 30:5)

Bill and Pam Farrel are authors of 52 books, are life coaches and Co-Direct LOVE-WISE.

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