21 November 2016

Teamwork and Thanksgiving: Our Best Tips

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My mother has been organizing Thanksgiving dinners since 1958.  We were talking during her recent hospitalization about her memories of Thanksgivings through the years and I got to hear many stories which lead to these best hints for a holiday filled with Teamwork and Thanksgiving.


My mom's earliest memories are with her mom's family.  Her cousins and her aunts and uncles took turns hosting the event and would come together at one of the homes. They spent the whole day with these families and playing with the cousins.  The women all brought dishes to help the hostess.  The kids sat away from the grown ups and in this family, no wine or alcohol was involved.  The best teamwork tip from this era was let people bring a dish!

My grandmother started hosting her own Thanksgiving when her brothers and sisters bowed out of hosting the event.  My great grandparents and my aunts and uncles and my cousins met at the house. My grandmother cooked the turkey, rolls and pies and the side dishes were brought in by her sons and daughters.  We all worked together and helped Grandma in the kitchen.  The best teamwork tip from this time is to make sure that everyone has a job to help with!  Have a sign up list or an assignment chart ready to go when people arrive.

When my grandparents died, my mom invited the whole family to our house, my aunts and uncles and their kids.  Mom cooked the turkey, someone brought rolls, and the rest brought side dishes.  One of my aunts didn't like going to different houses, so she stopped coming with her family.  Then mom started inviting people from my dad's family.  That was a great experience.  Each year we'd get our grandparents and bring them to our house.  We never knew who would be coming!  This went on for about forty years!  The best teamwork hint from this era is to let people extend invitations to others but expect an Rsvp.  We make it clear that you need to give a call and tell someone you are coming!

My mom moved to a senior housing facility last year.  Now we have our Thanksgiving in the party room of the complex.  Last year was our first year and we invited all our cousins and their families. We had it on a Saturday and the crowd was huge.  This year we are back to having in on Thanksgiving and our crowd will be smaller.  Mom makes the turkey, my sister makes rolls, I make a pie and a side dish, and then we ask the rest of our guests to bring paper goods, desserts, side dishes, games for the kids, electrical cords, decorations and whatever else we might need.  We coordinate all of this through a Facebook event page.  Our best teamwork hint is to take advantage of Facebook's event pages, which allows you to invite via email, so you can invite those without a Facebook page, too!

While our traditions may have changed over the years, there is one tradition that stays:  our gathering is full of family and friends whom are loved and cherished.  We come together to say thank you for the blessings we have received this year.  This year we will be using this printable to ask everyone to complete a page of their blessings as a family.  We will gather those and create a book that can grow year after year.  You, too can download this printable for your family as well here.


Happy Thanksgiving to all!

23 comments :

  1. Some great tips! It's so important to share out the jobs and work together :)

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  2. Oh gosh all your Thanksgiving sound amazing. It's so interesting how it's evolved through the years. I know what I want it to look like for me and I am working to create that, this year is a slight variation but I think next year will have the focus. We have no family in the area so it's all friendsgiving for us

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  3. That is a great story. That is what a traditional Thanksgiving should be like in my opinion. Unfortunately for me very few of my Thanksgivings have been traditional.

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  4. Love how you tell about the transitions and joys of each stage. Great tip on the FB event pages!

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  5. I cherish when people share their traditions. All these tips, plus the giveaway, help a lot.

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  6. Traditions are bound to change from time to time especially when your family get larger. I think what's important is that you're all together to celebrate this lovely holiday! I like the idea of asking people to fill up that paper of what they're thankful for.

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  7. Wow! We don't have thanks giving in this part of the world but this is surely something that we can all do irrespective of the festival. Great sharing

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  8. Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog it made my day :) as for Thanksgiving can I join the celebrations? I have always wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving! Its a great idea to coordinate events using Facebook event pages too!

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  9. I like the Thanksgiving journal idea! So often, I remind my children to write prayers of thanks, but it's nice to remember to do it as an adult too.

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  10. I love that Thanksgiving journal. Often times we go through the motions of life and forget to actively show our appreciation and gratitude.

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  11. Sorry to hear that your mom's in the hospital. Hope she recovers soon. Nice tips, the Facebook event page is a good one. It makes it so much easier for everyone to stay up to date.

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  12. I love the place mat it is perfect for thanksgiving! I love making thankful lists.

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  13. These are all such great tips! There is so much to be thankful for, each and every single day <3

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  14. Aw...thanks for sharing your special family memories with us all. And as I read, I really appreciated how much the idea is about being grateful. About finding things to be thankful for. Thanks for that reminder...

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  15. I love this book idea! I am a huge journaler and do it to keep the memories and pass them down and this is a great way to expand on that tradition. I'll be looking to incorporate this on Thursday :) Love the good vibes! Have a wonderful thanksgiving!

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  16. Ooooo these are some really great tips!!!! Planning thanksgiving can be pretty stressful! Kinda thankful I'm taking a year off from hosting lol

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  17. What a great friendly family Thanksgiving. I am enjoying the thanksgiving journal idea that is creative.

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  18. It sounds like you always have an awesome holiday! We are always trying to figure out whose family to spend the holidays with and it get's so stressful!

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  19. This is so sweet. Thanks for this personal post and for letting us into you life a little bit. I think this season is wonderful because it reminds us how important it is to hug our loved ones a little tighter at night.

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  20. I love the idea of teamwork on thanksgiving! It's so important to be grateful for help and each other everyday.

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  21. It's so important to continue time honored family traditions. I love that, despite the fact that some things have changed over the years, your family still prioritizes getting together for Thanksgiving.

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  22. A Facebook event is a smart and tech savvy way to include everyone! It is easy to share photos of the event too!

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  23. I love the printable! It's so important to take the time to reflect on what you have to be thankful for.

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