Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spruce Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Having more extended family than you'd believe possible and hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for said family can be an undertaking--I'm always looking for ideas to make it memorable (as if dinner for 27 isn't memorable enough).

The pinecone turkeys at left came from HRH Martha Stewart--the heads are pipe cleaners. I used them as table decorations and to hold up place cards for seating assignments.

The place cards themselves had each guest's name on the front but was folded in half with a short paragraph about one of our ancestors on the inside. Our family has many lines coming from the Mayflower so I researched 12 husbands and wives from whom we are descended and wrote about each of their lives, matching men with men and women with women, one for each place card. If personal details were sketchy I filled each bio out with information about what life was like on the Mayflower. You may not have ancestors featuring in American history, but Thanksgiving is a great time for remembering ancestors no matter where they came from.

Finally, I asked each of the guests to bring a joke with them. During a break in the dinner we had each person tell their joke--it was quite a window into each person's personality to see what they found funny.

Check in with Rocks in My Dryer every Wednesday for other good tips.


25 comments:

stacitee said...

Those turkeys are so cute and my mom would love the idea about the history. Cute joke idea too. I bet Thanksgiving at your house is so fun!

Sean Carter said...

This is really a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving...it's always good to know your past and that makes us proud....and nice idea for the decorations...I'm sure Thanksgiving is real fun at your house....and hey do drop by my Thanksgiving Blog sometime and share all the fun....and also find out some more great ideas and resources that'll make your Thanksgiving celebration more fun and enjoyable!!!!

PastorMac's Ann said...

The turkeys would be a cute Sunday School idea too!

Annie said...

Putting HRH in front of Martha's name is a RIOT!!! I'm still laughing! Thanks a million. And the turkeys are adorable!

Jenny said...

I love the pinecone turkeys!

Totally going to make them with Hailey.

Erin said...

So cute! I remember making pinecone turkeys (with construction paper feathers) for a kindergarten thanksgiving project years ago (along with pilgrim collars and hats made from paper plates. *Those* were attractive.) I think it's funny that Martha is promoting the pinecone turkey now, although they do look much more refined with real feathers and pipe cleaner heads.

It sounds like Thanksgiving is a very enjoyable event at your house. But making dinner for 27? Whew. I can't believe you have energy left for all the researching and decorating too!

kim said...

you get enough guests to make a party of 27 come all the way to Alaska?! Wow!
And here I am freaking out about the maybe 5 international students plus possibly 8 family members who might or might not come.
On second thought, maybe it's the 'might or might not' that's got me freaking.
We don't have any famous family.
The joke idea sounds great!

Lady Why said...

Wow!! You would make Martha Steward proud! Those turkeys are wonderful and I love the history idea. I may think about how I can put all of that into action for Thanksgiving!

Prahagirl said...

What a great idea! I'm totally gonna steal it for my students' art project this week :)

Binkytown said...

Clever! I am SO not crafty but I think even I could pull this off. Maybe.

Lines From The Vine said...

Some wonderful ideas!! I host Thanksgiving at my home too...it is quite an undertaking! I love your idea of having everyone bring a joke!! What fun!!

Blessings!
Tracy

Jenn said...

I also have some Mayflower lines and my husband is third generation Polish, so we each have a pilgrim story. What a beautiful way to share your heritage.

Ava said...

Michelle,

Don't take this the wrong way, but now I know you are a control freak! Jokes?

LOLOL

scribbit said...

Oh yes I know, but would you believe I've gotten better over the years? 13 years with children has had a mellowing effect. Kind of. I still can't go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, I just can't sleep.

Susan said...

Michelle your dinner sounded divine - esp. the turkeys and the ancestry info on the place cards - very very cool - my best centerpiece idea ever for Tksgvg, which I now repeat from time to time in the fall, was when I made my family cranberry relish recipe one year and had about 1/2 bag of cran's leftover and they're so pretty I wanted to use them somehow... so I got a big glass vase and put the cranberries in the bottom and weighted them down with clear glass stones (the kind you can buy to frog flower arrangements) then added a basic grocery bouquet of mixed fall color flowers - it was a huge hit! - tks for commenting about the monte cristos... usually people don't know what I'm talking about with those - I worked as a waitress all thru college and we had this rather decadent french toast for sunday brunch at the restaurant and the cooks would always make extra so we could all have monte cristo's in the kitchen - they are so so so yummy!!!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like quite a party. We are not that organzied around here, but I am very impressed!

kailani said...

What a great idea! I love Thanksgiving dinners!

You should definitely submit this to the Thanksgiving edition of the carnival.

Anonymous said...

Love the joke idea, the 27 guests not so much.

J said...

Very cute turkeys! Thanksgiving at your house is probably a great time. :)

I wonder if we're related...very distantly, of course. We don't have any Mayflower folks in our line, but we go back to the mid 1600s in New England...interesting huh?

Cece said...

What a cute idea, very clever. Our family comes and goes all day long, so we tend to keep it very casual.

Heather said...

This is very cute. We hae troule finding ways to make our Thanksgiving memorable, but that is because despite being near family it is just the 5 of us. We might try this (though we don't een eat turkey on Thanksgiving due to crazy food allergies.)

Steve said...

You are a remarkable lady to deal with that many people. No matter what ship they arrived on.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Wow - makes me wish we had Thanksgiving here just so I could 'do' the event!

Larae said...

I LOVE this! Thanks so much for sharing, I can't wait to make my very own for Thanksgiving =)

Kathleen Marie said...

What wonderful ideas. I love the family history one. My Mom's side goes way back to the French-Indian War. Lovely ideas!