Family and Friends

Thanksgiving is about family and friends, isn't it? Yes. Something to be thankful for besides silly stuff like what's material. There's nothing better than to sit down with family and friends at Thanksgiving for a day and evening of fun. You don't want everyone to eat and run, do you? I should hope not.

Thanksgiving Invitation
You can just call everyone or you can send a flier or send a personalized Thanksgiving invitation. If you are mailing an invitation, why not ask everyone to bring something that can be donated to the food bank or a local shelter. You'll all feel good about yourselves. And you'll be helping those less fortunate.

Want to get the kids involved? Have the create a hand print turkey by tracing their hand on brown construction paper and cutting it out. They can decorate the front of the turkey with crayons, glitter, and feathers, and you can write the party information on the back. Your guests will smile the second they open these unique "hand-made" invitations.
 
When you call people to remind them what time to come and what to bring, drop a few hints that this won't be a regular Thanksgiving. Tell them you have big plans for a great day--not just people and turkeys sitting around saying, "I'm stuffed!"

Thanksgiving Decorations and Party Supplies

At the door, you can place a good old scarecrow. Finally, you can get rid of your husband's raggedy old pants and flannel shirt for a good cause (tell him later). Put a big basket of apples next to Mr. Scarecrow for him to guard. Throw in a bunch of leaves, and stick a sign in the basket (easy to make--just attach tag board to a post and stick it in) that says, "Welcome to the Smith's Thanksgiving Day Feast--no crows allowed!!"

As far as the rest of the house, make it cozy. Lots of candlelight, fall leaves, fall fruits and vegetables placed in appropriate nooks and crannies. Stop at your favorite craft store and pick up some cornucopia-shaped baskets, turkey-shaped baskets and others that are appropriate--and fill them full with miniature pumpkins, gourds, apples and more. 

Afraid to use paper plates because you'll look cheap? I bet your family would rather have you spend the time with them than cleaning up the kitchen--so go for it. Use a solid plate underneath for the main course if you're worried the plates won't hold up under turkey, dressing, yams, squash all piled high--but it's not necessary.

At each place, put a 9" dinner plate with a 7" plate on top for appetizers or salad. Do yourself a favor and use plastic utensils (wow, that makes it easy). Put a matching paper cup at each place with a matching cocktail napkin coming out. Add the utensils to the cup so it's all in one neat package. Alternate solid color luncheon napkins and themed napkins at each place setting.

Don't forget guest towels in the bathroom (plus some candles with a base of fall leaves).

Thanksgiving Activities
Since this is a family and friends affair, do things that include everyone. Here are some ideas:

Photo Guessing Game (aka Guest by Number)
Go through your old photos and find an old picture of each and every person who is coming (if you don't have one, ask them to mail you one). Number them and put them up on a board for all to see. Make a form with each guest's name with a blank next to it and while dinner is being prepared, ask everyone to guess who is who (guest by number).

If you have the energy, before dinner remove the pictures and use them as place cards. Boy will people be surprised when they see who sits where!

Family Photo Opportunity
Divide guests into groups of four or six and give them each a single-use camera. Along with the camera, pass out a list of things they have to do for the camera (as a group): make a pyramid, frown, stick out their tongues, etc. They'll have a ball and boy, will you have something to show next year!

Party411 has some fun  Thanksgiving photo opportunities worth checking out.

thanksgiving party favors
Thank everyone for coming with personalized Thanksgiving candy bars, it's a great take home snack after such a great meal!
 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from Party411.com!