Soon it will be Thanksgiving.  As we write to you, our home smells wonderful!  Our theory is to get as many things accomplished before the crowd arrives.  That means the turkey went into the roaster  early this morning and the pies went into the oven before lunch.  After several experiments (some more successful than others) we’ve learned what can be accomplished the day before and what must wait until Thursday.  We’ve also discovered how children can help in preparation for the big day.

Finger Jello is a hit with many of the younger crowd who will be gathering at our Thanksgiving table.  Cutting out different shapes with cookie cutters is fun for kids and is a way they can help. When children are a little older they can make the place cards.  Simply give them a list of the dinner guests, some paper cut to size, a magic marker, some fall stickers, and let them be creative.

The key to including children in preparation tasks is to relax the standards.  Don’t expect kids to fit the maximum number of cutters in the pan of finger Jello.  Instead enjoy the wildly shaped “scraps” you can include in the serving bowl. And as long as you can read the place cards, they are perfect for the occasion.

One last idea, is to make a construction paper turkey and feathers.  Then tape the bird to the refrigerator, attach two-sided tape to the feathers, and encourage blind-folded kids and adults to “Tape the Feather on the Turkey.”  Before you begin the game, ask everyone participating to share something they are thankful for and write that on the feather.  It’s fun!  It’s easy! It’s a reminder to be thankful  — for many things including family, food, and games you can play together.  Happy Thanksgiving!