It’s here, the start of crazy season. This week I’m taking it easy at This Beautifully Imperfect Life – not so much at home! But I thought I would share a little last minute inspiration for your thanksgiving table. Enjoy!
It isn’t hard getting conversations started at our dinner table. In fact we usually have about five going on at the same time – with me alone. But sometimes we need some direction to help us share in one discussion. You know what I mean, the entire family all participating together, listening and only talking when it’s your turn. I was in need of some dialogue tools at my table so I went looking, online of course. I found lots of resources and compiled some of my favorites into little cards that I put in a glass jar and keep in the kitchen for nights when direction is needed. I have also created a printable for you in case you want them too.
These are conversation starter questions. When you need to reign in the table talk at your house grab one of these and go around the table taking turns answering it.
Click here to download your table talk free printable.
A good friend of mine who is very creative, and organized, and thoughtful, was talking to me about her summer plans with the kids. She casually mentioned needing to do some family theme nights with the kids “again”. This was mentioned in passing as if everyone did them and she was behind the game.
I immediately stopped her seeking clarification and much more information because this sounded interesting to me. And of course I had no idea what this was, I can barely get food on the table let alone make it fun for people.
Or can I?
As I probed for more ideas out of her I became more and more excited about this idea of making dinner time fun. Maybe this would curb the need to fight and complain at the table. Maybe the distraction would be just what we need to eat instead of walk around the room. Maybe? Could it be?
Probably not, but it might entertain the adults. That’s reason enough for me.
My friend was more than willing to share her ideas with me. I love sharing mommy tips. People have the best ideas and solutions. I’m sure I have never solved any of my own homemaker problems. My friends solve them for me. They always give me the solutions I need. I love friends.
Back to what I was saying. I know my limitations. I can’t do much outside of the normal business routine of making three meals a day and cleaning up after them. I just don’t have it in me to spent a day coming up with great crafts and decorations, theming out my already hectic dinners with frill and glory. My friend doesn’t do this either, by the way.
But I thought If I could make them simple, no prep or minimal prep necessary I might actually be able to pull one off. I challenged myself to research (in my head and on the web) for easy themes for a spontaneous dinner time. After minutes of research I have come up with a nice little list. But before I share that list please keep in mind these are low prep. No fuss, easy, use-what-you-have, little-thought-needed kind of ideas. These aren’t Pinterest worthy, they aren’t even Instagram worthy. Just you and your family having a little fun kind of ideas.
The only way I can imagine this coming off well, and not lame-o, is to hand it to the kids and let them run with it. They get to decorate, they find their outfits etc.
So, if you do one I would love it to pieces if you would share your idea. That would be so fun. I promise to share mine and because I have no shame I might even dare put some on Instagram. Seriously no one follows me anyway!
OK here it goes:
Oh, I forgot to say, there is no meal coordination here, you eat what you were already planning to eat. Like I said no prep, people, I have to keep the bar really low for myself so I feel accomplished.
Ok here we go now:
Hawaiian night. I can only do this because I happen to have a garbage bag full of grass skirts and stuff from a party we had once. We also have some old leis in the dress up bin and I’m sure I can scare up some Hawaiian music on the iPod. Plus the girls would love to braid their hair. That’s Hawaiian isn’t it? If not, it is now.
Breakfast for dinner including Jammie’s. Ok I lied, you could combine the food with the theme on this one! This is the night you don’t have dinner planned and so you scare up some eggs or pancakes to eat. Tell the kiddos to go put their jam jams on while your fixing it! Hey, even bring the stuffed animals and blankets if you don’t mind the extra load of laundry you will have after they wipe their sticky hands on them.
Backwards. See, easy. Announce it is backwards night and everyone can turn their clothes around, eat desert first, walk backwards to the table. The kids can come up with all sorts of spins on this for sure.
Indoor picnic. Grab a blanket, some trash bags to put under if if you are like me and have white rugs in your home, and sit down on the floor of your living room to dine. You may want to use water bottles with tops for this one.
Dinner under the table. Instead of eating on the table eat under it. In my house this will have to happen on a night dad is out of town, he would not like this one.
Color. Pick a color and have everyone wear it to dinner. Or everyone wears their favorite color.
Costume. Everyone comes in some sort of costume and then you go around the table and explain who or what you are.
Toothpick night (I just came up with that one now). Eat your entire dinner with toothpicks. Or spoons, or chopsticks, or your HANDS! Oh, that could be fun.
Hollywood Night. This one is for number 4 who got mad at me yesterday for calling her fancy pants. Not sure why that offended her so much, she is fancy and proud of it usually. So this one is for you fancy britches. Dress up and then dress others up. And then re-dress yourself up. It’s going to be so fun and fancy.
That’s all I got. Do you have any you can share? Leave a comment with your ideas.
Have fun with this and remember set the bar low for yourself, the rest of your life its set too high, don’t make this stressful too.