If you’re going to someone’s home for Thanksgiving, don’t just bring your contribution to the meal; consider a little something special for your hosts, something personal and special. Doing this together is particularly special, memorable, and impactful for all involved. I have fond, fond memories of my elegant grandparents playing charades in my great-aunt’s living room. We laughed about it when it happened, and we’ve laughed about it every year since. You’re already together, yes, you’re having Thanksgiving together. Remember to use unscented candles at the table, and to place them out of the way of children or animals who may knock them over. 11. Do something for others. Remember those less fortunate and do something to help. Giving your time and skills to a loved one in a meaningful way is often the best gift. Don’t fight. I’ve known about the heavenly smelling stove top simmers for years. Simmer something wonderful. Hello, take two. Forgot to clean the mirrors in the bathrooms? Involve the children. Oh my. Everyone wants to be with you more than they want a perfect setting. But engaging in an activity as a group is really special and fun. (Leave the phones in the house.)
9. Whether it’s letting them help you peel apples or having them make personalized turkeys out of tracings of their hands, getting the kids involved in the festivities makes them feel like they are contributing rather than getting in the way and it also keeps them constructively occupied. Being open in this way will warm people’s hearts, a feeling that will fill the home. Do something together. 7. 4. Take a walk. No one knows what the next year will bring, but you can savor the time with loved ones at the table right now. Laugh when things go wrong. This year I want to actually do it. And when you return to a warm house with a cozy fire, everyone is extra grateful for hearth and home. This could be a thing or an action. Say it out loud. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Amazon Lighting Deals, and Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving can quickly turn into a me me me me me consumer-fest. Didn’t get to the finishing touches on the guest room? Don’t forget the hostess gift. Luckily the singed marshmallows are easy to peel off, and hooray for an extra bag of minis! Take the opportunity to tell your mother thank you for making the key lime pie she’s been making for thirty years. 6. Find out beforehand where you can volunteer, what you can donate, and how you can set an example of getting outside of your own world to better someone else’s. Light candles. Let them. Do something the whole family can participate in that brings everyone just a bit closer together. Or help your sister with the closet-cleaning-out project she can’t seem to get to on her own. For instance, offer to watch all the kids sometime during the weekend so your hosts can go out for a date without worrying about a babysitter. 3. 2.