We will be hosting our first Thanksgiving dinner at our home this year and both my side of the family and my husband’s side of the family will be gathering around the dinner table. Chances are we will have friends joining us for the holiday meal too. Since we will have guests of all ages I want to make sure everyone has an enjoyable and memorable holiday. I don’t want fighting, quiet awkward moments or for anyone to feel left out.
Here are five tips to help create conversation during Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year!
Tip #1 – Use Place Settings
Place settings allow for you to have control over where each guest sits (granted they don’t move them around). Depending on who will be gathered around your table you may want to separate family members that don’t get along well or group guests of similar ages together. By utilizing place settings you may even want to disperse the talkative guests to keep conversation flowing all around the table.
#2. Have A Kid’s Table
I remember the dreaded days of sitting at the kid’s table. However by having a kid’s table you will keep adult conversation from being interrupted. Having a kids table will also ensure none of your guests get caught cutting little Johnny’s turkey or wearing his spilled drink. To keep the kid’s table fun use free printables like the ones found on Design Dazzle that will have even the oldest child happy to be sitting at the kiddie table. Hint hint – The printables might keep the little ones quieter than normal too!
#3. Get Guests Involved
There are many ways to get your guests involved in creating a memorable meal. If a guest would like to help with the cooking give them a task in the kitchen. Some of the best conversation and laughter happens before anyone ever sits down to enjoy a holiday meal. You can also drum up conversation by having each guest write what they are thankful for. Create a Thankful Tree like the one found on DIY on the Cheap or have each guest write what they are thankful for on a strip of paper and make a paper chain. A few years ago we all wrote down what we were thankful for on piece of paper, put them in a cup and passed around the cup during the dinner so each person could pick one to read.
#4. Bring Memories to Dinner
Our guests are brought together because they are family and friends of my husband and I. All of our guests have met before but some don’t know each other very well. To help each person get to know one other a little better we are asking everyone to bring a picture of themselves from childhood. When the guests arrive I am going to hang their photo on a garland I put together with string and mini clothespins. I know that these pictures will have everyone talking! The grandparents will talk about how cute the grandkids are, the young adults will laugh and the kids will have fun trying to figure out who each child is. My hopes are that the photos will also evoke further conversation about where and when the pictures were taken helping everyone get to know one another a little bit more than they did before.
Find out how to put together an easy photo banner by Poofy Cheeks
#5. Play Games and Have Fun!
Have games or activities planned for after dinner. While some will enjoy watching football others might not be into sports. I attended a Thanksgiving dinner once where the entire family had a tradition of gathering around a table playing dice games and the winner of each round won a scratch off ticket. My family personally can’t stop laughing when we play the game Catch Phrase. Have a deck of cards, a board game, dice or outdoor games planned and watch the fun unfold!
With these five tips your guests are sure to leave with smiles on their faces and unforgettable memories made! This card from Treat says it best…
Please share any tips you have for hosting a fun and memorable holiday dinner filled with conversation and laughter in the comments below!
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