For years I have resented Black Friday. I remember a time not too long ago in which the “thanks” was kept in “Thanksgiving.” It was a treasured time of counting your blessings and adjusting your attitude to one of gratitude.
Not too far in the recent past, however, the commercialization of the Christmas season began it’s hostile takeover of Thanksgiving with the creation of my new nemesis, Black Friday. Not content with preempting the remaining Thanksgiving weekend with a consumerism mindset, early bird specials soon followed – beginning on Thanksgiving Day itself!
In an effort to keep the “thanks” in Thanksgiving, a few years ago our family started the tradition of getting together on Black Friday for dinner with another family, combining our leftovers from the day before and enjoying a good time of family fellowship instead of shopping. The past two years, we have added games to our night of fellowship. This year, we’re planning the whole evening as an extension of Thanksgiving Day with Gratitude Game Night.
Everyone gets two slips of paper and writes one word on each slip of something for which they are thankful. For example, my daughter bought her first car this summer, so it would be entirely appropriate for her to write “car” on one. All slips are collected in a bowl. The bowl is passed around the table with players selecting one at a time. Take turns trying to get the table to guess your word without using that word, similar to CatchPhrase. Alternate version – play as family teams.
One person at a time chooses a letter of the alphabet. Using a timer, each player (or team) writes as many things for which they are thankful that begin with that letter as they can imagine. When the timer goes off, each player (or team) shares their list one item at a time. All duplicated items on everyone’s lists are marked out. The player (or team) with the most items still on their list is the winner!
Each player thinks of something for which they are thankful. On a 3×5 card, they write a definition of that thing from the general to the more specific. All cards go into a bowl, which gets sent around the table one player at a time. Each player takes one card out, reads the definition to the group and each person tries to 1) figure out what the object of thanks is, and 2) who wrote it.
How does your family keep the “thanks” in Thanksgiving? Please share your bright ideas (or links) in the comments.