Do you want to avoid all negative and/or awkward conversations at your Thanksgiving table? Of course you do. One year at Thanksgiving I refused to come out of my bedroom because my oldest sister was bringing her boyfriend to dinner, and I was getting bumped from the kids’ table to the adult table, and I knew my grandma was going to make a big deal about how I was a “big girl” and embarrass me. So I showed her and refused to come out of my room. I ate an Eggo waffle for Thanksgiving dinner once everyone had left and everything had been cleaned up. All the awkward could have been avoided had friendly family competition been involved.
“Friendly” please. We are monsters in our family when it comes to competition, but we don’t care. We love games.
We started having a tournament a few years ago that I called the (I No Longer Have) Hunger Games. The winner gets the Stewart Family version of the Geller Cup-an old sheep trophy from when my older sisters showed sheep in the county fair. Yes. That happened.
It’s a big deal. My nephew, Charlie, was very upset one year when his family was going to have to relinquish the trophy to another family.
We’ve done a variety of games over the years. Minute to Win It games are always fun and easy to execute, and they are great for adults and children. Here is a great resource.
Sometimes I’ve planned games for just the children and separate games for the adults. One year I did a simple Jeopardy game board with poster board and had trivia questions for the adults. The children got to play “stuff the turkey”. I made a turkey out of a large paper bag, and they had to throw paper balls into it from varying distances.
My favorite I ever did was Name that Tune, but the ‘tunes’ all had food or drinks in the titles. Here is the playlist I used if you want to play. Points were awarded for correct title and correct artist.
American Pie- Don McLean
Cheeseburger in Paradise- Jimmy Buffet
Black Horse and a Cherry Tree-KT Tunstall
Sugar, Sugar- The Archies
Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch-The Four Tops
Raspberry Beret- Prince
Lady Marmalade- Patti LaBelle
Chicken Fried- Zac Brown Band
Mashed Potato Time- Dee Dee Sharp
Banana Pancakes- Jack Johnson
Strawberry Wine- Deanna Carter
I Heard it Through the Grapevine- Marvin Gaye
Strawberry Fields Forever- The Beatles
Pour Some Sugar on Me- Def Leppard
The Pina Colada Song- Rupert Holmes
Sugar Town-Nancy Sinatra
American Honey- Lady A
Rock Lobster- B-52s
Left, Center, Right gets played at many a family gathering. Thanksgiving? LCR. Jesus is born? LCR. Jesus is risen? LCR. I don’t know how you actually play the game, but we play it for singles. Everyone that wants to play brings at least three one dollar bills. If you want to contribute more to the “pot” you can. We sit around the dining room table and roll the dice. They dictate what you do with your money. If one dice says L, you pass a dollar to the person to your left. If one says R, you pass one to the person at your right. If you get C, it goes in the pot. If you get a single dot on your dice, you keep your money. This goes on and on until one person is left holding at least a dollar. He/she wins all the money. It’s very fun, and you’re only out three dollars if you lose, but could win a few grandes at Starbucks depending on how many people play.
Have some fun. Play some games and don’t mention the three Ps-politics, pandemic, or pie. No. Just kidding. DO mention pie. Pilgrims and pie. Those are safe topics, right?