Friday, November 16, 2012

Talking Turkey and Other Holiday Tips for Your Family

 Holiday and Thanksgiving Tips Raleigh Apex Cary Durham

As the holiday season draws near, there are more opportunities to have fun with family.  We put together the Family Fun Series to encourage spending time together this season with family and friends.  Grab a cup of hot cocoa and read about some great ways to make the season special that don’t take a lot of time or money…just family.


While you’re sitting around the table waiting for some turkey and mashed potatoes to come your way, start a conversation with these ideas.  You can do this during dinner, before dinner, when the pies are handed out or just when things get a little calm.  Print out this post, cut up the statements and let everybody have a turn!


Something I wish was still in stores is… 

The first movie I ever saw was…

My favorite toy was…

My first job was…

My best birthday party was…

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

If you could live out any TV show for a week, what show would it be?

What is the most memorable event of this year?

What is your favorite family recipe?

If you could be invisible for 3 hours, where would you go and what would you do?

What radio station or CD is in your car right now?

Best Halloween costume you saw this year…any year?

Where were you when…you finish the blank…the youngest child was born, the Red Sox won the World Series, you got your driver’s license, you met your spouse, etc.

What I want for Christmas is… 

Holiday Tips:  Do you have some younger ones and teens coming to the feast?  Here are some great tips to help people of ALL ages to enjoy the holiday get togethers! 

  • The dinner is often off schedule for many children.  Most kids eat earlier than the traditional 2 or 3 pm dinner schedule.  Prepare a light snack/lunch just for the kids that doesn’t take much time.  Veggies, crackers, cheese, and even juice boxes so that they can eat ahead of time and not be constantly asking for lunch

  • Have a “kids table.”  Cover the kids table with butcher paper and leave some crayons for them to enjoy coloring.

  • Have one TV just for the kids.  It can be a TV or a computer monitor with a laptop.  Once the kids are done, let them watch a special move such as Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving or Christmas or one of our favorites A Night at the Museum for older ones.  You can do this later in the day and give them some microwaved popcorn as a treat!

  • Download directions on how to make a pilgrim hat for children.  This way the older ones can make their own hats.  You can also download other creatures to make that may be fun!  Go to our Pinterest board here for the directions. 

  • If you have preschoolers, have them bring costumes or buy some after Halloween dress up and put it in a big bin.  They will have great fun playing princess and pirate, enchanting everyone with their presence!

  • Download some activities that are football or fall themed.  You can see great fall and football ideas on our Pinterest board here!

  • Have a place for the children to go when they are done.  A playroom, a TV room, outside.  Don’t assume they will make it.

  • Make S’mores at dusk around a campfire.  Something to look forward to and a little different!  Kids will talk about it for a long time to come.  Hint:  Get the large marshmallows!

  • Pick a place to go after the big meal and before the dessert…or after the dessert.  We like to go to Duke Gardens, but choose a spot to head to with the kids and anyone who wants to get off a little energy!  The ones who want to nap can then have a little quiet!

  • Designate a pie and dessert “order taker.”  This person goes around with a pencil and pad and takes the dessert order of each person.  Then they tally up the number and off they go to hand in the orders.  If they are old enough, they can serve it as well!

  • For those who may have lost a loved one, having something there to remind them or even making a trip to the cemetery may seem strange, but is good for many children.  Remembering their special person is important

  • Make your own name place tags and/or placemats for the kids to color.  See some great ideas on our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board (with free download!). Or, download some great ones from NickJr.

  • Go bowling!  Our family (minus anyone who wanted to stay home by the fire) went bowling every Christmas Day.  We were usually one of the only ones there.  One year, we even were interviewed by the local paper!

  • Put out a puzzle.  For elementary ages and teens right up to adult, puzzles seem to captivate some great attention!  We’ve had some great conversation as you search for pieces.  If you really want to have fun, take one piece (not an edge piece) and hide it away.  There’s nothing worse than having one piece missing from a puzzle you spent hours on….and there’s nothing better than being the one who “found” the piece (or if you’re really nice, give it to the youngest puzzle doer).  Such fun!


The best advice sometimes is to relax and know that something will go wrong and right.  Family getting together can be stressful, wonderful, busy, and unlike any normal day.  Kids will be annoyed, teased, laughing, crying, and sleeping at the oddest times.  Sometimes letting go of expectations can be the best thing to do on holidays.

Have a great holiday season…from our house to yours!

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