Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Make Thanksgiving Enjoyable for Everyone


Submitted by Karen McCoy, Marketing Consultant — Ridgecrest Village

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I began to think about how I could make this an enjoyable Thanksgiving for everyone, young and not as young. It’s a time when we all gather together for a meal to give thanks and to celebrate family. There can be four or even five generations spending the day together. We will have four generations together, and past experience has shown me that pre-planning can save the day. Instead of sending the children off to play and basically get them out from under foot, by taking some time to plan ahead, you can make this Thanksgiving more enjoyable.

As I was considering our holiday, I pondered what will be the obstacles of the day and how can we turn those obstacles into positive experiences for everyone. The first one that comes to mind is cell phones and computer games. I have asked the older generations to think about funny stories they can tell the grandchildren about their parents. This will entertain the children and exercise the grandparent’s brains. I am helping the grandparents by visiting with them ahead of time to remind them of some of the stories I remember from being a kid to get their memories going. Everyone loves a good laugh.

The next obstacle is to keep the conversation going. I think it is important for my parents to show interest in what the grandchildren are interested in. Sometimes, it’s hard to find things to talk about unless there has been some preplanning, so I have spent time with them telling them what the children are doing and giving them ideas of things to talk about with the kids to get them to share what they are involved with. For instance, the boys played baseball this summer. I asked Dad to invite the boys to tell him about their winning grand slams or great catches. I figure the boys would love to brag, and I know Dad can relate because he played ball as a kid. Mom is going to bring some recipes to share with the girls and tell them the history of them, telling them that they have been handed down from their great-great-grandmother. She is bringing along a picture of her to show the girls. We are going to get the ingredients for an easy one, so they can make the dish together for dinner.

Now for my kids, great plans are being made to embarrass them a little. We are pulling out photo albums so that we can share funny and some of the embarrassing photos of them. This should liven things up a little.

Another obstacle is after dinner, the older adults are stuffed and the kids still want to make it a fun day, so we are going to play some card games and a couple of board games that are easy for everyone to understand. Some of the grandchildren already know how to play, so it should be fairly easy to have everyone catch on.

For the little one, we have bubbles and balloons to play with, but I think everyone will get in on the fun with those.

My husband has reminded me, be flexible and expect the unexpected, so my real plan is just to share the time together, laugh, and give lots of hugs and kisses. We should all cherish the opportunity that the holidays bring — to spend time together with family and grow those bonds just a little more this year. I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving and hope some of my ideas will spark you to do some planning before the big day to help you bring your family together to share their memories and create new ones. Happy Thanksgiving.

Do you have questions about Ridgecrest? Have you heard different stories? Do you want to explore how to plan for a full and enjoyable retirement? Call Mary or Karen at 563-391-3430 today. We would love to invite you to lunch and show you what our community has to offer!