The combination of crunching of leaves beneath our feet as Mr. Smith and I take our daily walks and the bombardment of emails in my inbox with subject lines like What to Wear for Thanksgiving (it’s coming soon!) and 7 Tips for an inspired Thanksgiving at home, persuaded me it was time to drag my attention away from my election obsession and think about the upcoming holiday. With new COVID cases topping 100,000 a day, we have decided to take the advice of the learned Dr. Fauci and celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 with only the people who already live within our household. In other words, Mr. Smith and I will be the only two jockeying for the last piece of pumpkin pie. We may wish things were different, but facts don’t lie and the danger is just too great.
After indulging in a (fairly) short pity party, I knew I needed to make a plan. This year it will be Thanksgiving boxes packed by grandma that will be going over the river and through the woods, making their way to all my favorite little turkeys. Taking inspiration from my daughter-in-law, Becky, who teamed up with her sister to create Candy Casino Night to replace trick-or-treat for their kids, I started looking for fun Thanksgiving ideas to connect with my grandkids and replace an actual get together.
Chocolate turkeys that would normally be used as place setting favors on my holiday dinner table are being packed and mailed. I’m sending books, turkey crowns (saving one for me!) and other festive gee gaws. That’s all well and good, but how to truly engage my grandkids??? M&Ms of course! While searching the web for inspiration, I stumbled upon the blog, Unoriginal Mom, who posted Roll a Turkey – Free Thanksgiving Game for Kids. I will provide the M&Ms, dice and game cards. You roll a die and the number on the die dictates the color of M&M that gets placed on the turkey. Full instructions as well as the downloadable game cards are included in this link. Donning my turkey crown, I will connect with my grandkids on Facetime and let the good times roll.
Well aware that the game may be short lived due to the gobbling of the M&Ms, I wanted a second game. Thanks to Heidi at Happiness is Homemade, I created Thanksgiving Bingo Cards. Click here, print out the cards and get ready to play! I don’t want my grandkids’ parents to have to scramble to find any game supplies, so I prepared a bag of nickels for each child to fill their bingo card. Wearing my crown, I will be the bingo caller extraordinaire.
If you are observing Thanksgiving without your grandkids, the internet has a plethora of online Thanksgiving games. I decided to be realistic about my computer skills and go with games that we can play over Facetime. Technology has failed me before, or perhaps I have failed technology! If they are old enough, you could cook together over Facetime or another video conferencing app. Some brave people are planning a virtual dinner. With some preparation and organization, you can set a festive table, dress up a bit and stay safe while sharing the holiday.
Mr. Smith and I were both lucky enough to grow up in households that were filled with the tantalizing smells of yeast rolls and pies, onions and celery sauteing, and turkey roasting accompanied by the soundtrack of family on Thanksgiving Day. We carried on some of the same traditions, sharing many memorable holiday feasts with our own sons. Those celebrations eventually grew to include their spouses and children. It is my fervent grandma wish to gather all my people together at a Thanksgiving table and bask in the conversation and chaos. I have accepted that it won’t be this year, but you can count on the fact that the wheels are already turning, figuring out a way to make it happen in the (not too distant) future. Never underestimate a grandma on a mission!
C’est la vie.