Thanksgiving. Giving thanks. It’s more of an attitude than an activity.
Have you ever felt like there was no way you could possibly come up with something to be thankful for?
Or have you ever felt so bubbling over with gratitude that you didn’t think you were ever going to be able to be quiet?
Our feelings may vary, but there is one thing I am convinced of: giving thanks promotes a thankful heart. Thanksgiving breeds thankfulness.
While giving thanks to God is a wonderful activity for any day of the year, why not make an all-out, fun, and faith-building deal out of it at Thanksgiving? That is exactly what today’s Thanksgiving Family & Friends Conversation Game is meant to help you do.
Here’s how it works:
Setting some Thanksgiving ground rules
Whatever the size of your gathering, start out by sharing a few reminders with everybody.
- Remember, God wants us to praise Him for:
- gifts large and small
- gifts recent and long-ago
- gifts tangible and intangible (for the little ones, that means things we can see or touch and also things we just know or feel with our “hearts,” or our feelings)
Playing the Thanksgiving game
- Ahead of time, click on this link. (Your free printable will open in a new window as a PDF file. You will need Adobe Reader.)
From there, you will be able to print your copy of the Thanksgiving Family & Friends Conversation Game. Be sure it is single-sided. You will need 9 sheets of printer paper.
- Cut the slips apart on the dotted lines. You will have a total of 34 Thanksgiving Bible verses.
- Let your children color the final verse (the “block” letters on the last page), if they would like to. If they really enjoy coloring, they might even like to color in all the doodles — especially if you work with them! 😉
- Share the slips out at your Thanksgiving gathering. Be sure to include everybody – even the little children! (Several ideas on how to do this follow.)
- Let each person read the Bible verse and question on their slip, then answer the question.
Each slip also has an “easier” question geared towards your younger guests. Let everybody who can use the “harder” questions, use them. Those will lead to more conversation.
Optionally, if someone does not have an answer to their question, they could ask it of someone else and/or answer the “easy” question. Try not to make a big deal out of it – just have fun and enjoy the conversation. 🙂
Be forewarned: one of the questions suggests singing a song together. You might have a couple in mind just in case whoever gets that slip draws a blank.
- At the end, have someone read the verse the children colored. Ask a daddy or grandpa (if you have one there) to close with a short prayer of thanksgiving.
Options for passing out the slips
- Fold them up; mix them up in a bowl; let each person choose one.
- Hide one under each dinner plate.
- Tuck them around the house where your guests are expected to go. Instruct people to be on the lookout for one.
- Lay them out on a table. Let each person choose one that appeals to them.
- Hide them around a room for the children to find. Let the children “deliver” one to each adult and keep one for themselves.
I personally recommend the last option, if possible. Children love hunting for things, and it will give them something fun to do that helps them feel more a part of the game.
When to play the game
You may play the Thanksgiving Family & Friends Conversation Game any time you have a gathering of friends and family. Of course, it is especially well-suited to Thanksgiving.
One thing I do not recommend is starting the game when everybody is expecting to be eating! That is a sure way to round up a few grumpies.
However, playing as a way of promoting conversation during the meal is an option. Keep in mind how long your guests are expecting to stay and any other activities you may have planned.
How long should the game last?
You basically have three options for how to know when your Thanksgiving game is over:
- When everyone has had a chance to share.
- When all of the slips have been used up.
- When a pre-appointed time limit has been used up.
Just decide what you think will work best for your situation.
Have fun and enjoy the blessing of Thanksgiving!