I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year.

I will be bringing the fun.

I will be bringing the decorations.

I will be bringing the Thanksgiving table place settings.

I will be bringing the games.

But the one thing I’m not bringing?

The food.

That is left up to people who are much more incredibly talented and amazing and have more cooking skills in their little fingers than I do in my entire self.

So in case you are busy getting ready and baking and cooking and roasting and broiling and basting and slicing and dicing because you are bringing the food to your Thanksgiving and you’ve run out of time for the fun?

I’m here to help.

Here are five fun family games to play this Thanksgiving.

I’m Bringing the Turkey

This is a memory game that is perfect for that incredible moment just after dinner when all the turkey has been eaten and the stuffing have been stuffed and the cranberry bread is nothing but crumbs.

One person starts it.

They say, I’m bringing the _________ to Thanksgiving dinner.

And then the next person says I’m bringing the __________ (whatever the first person said) and __________ (then they add what they are bringing) to Thanksgiving dinner.

It continues around the table with each person adding what they are bringing to Thanksgiving dinner and trying to remember what all the people before them were bringing.  If someone can’t remember the order, they are out.  The game continues until there is only one person left standing.

And the winner?

They get the first piece of pie.

Would you rather?

This game requires a little bit of preparation.

Before the guests arrive, place a leaf under each plate.

On the leaf write the question would you rather _________ or ___________.

Then after dinner, each person looks under their plate and answers the questions.

Here are a few suggestions:

Would you rather jump out of an airplane or bungee jump off a cliff?

Would you rather wear a rabbit suit all day or perform the macarena in the middle of the grocery store?

Would you rather eat a lemon or a brussel sprout?

You get the idea.

You can personalize them to your family or make them generic.

The ABC’s of Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving.

What better way to celebrate than to share what we are thankful for.

This is one of my favorite games because it’s easy to play with the littles.

The first person starts the game with the letter A.  They tell the table something that they are thankful for that starts with the letter A.  Then the next person shares something they are thankful for that starts with the letter B.  The next person shares something that they are thankful for that starts with the letter C.

And so on.

It’s an easy and fun game that even your littlest Thanksgiving guest can play.

Thanksgiving Charades

We play charades at every holiday.

Maybe it’s because we are all a little dramatic.

Thankgiving is no exception.

Divide into two groups.

Have each group think of things that they are thankful for.  Write 10 of them down and then give them to the other group.  One by one, people from each group, take turns acting out the suggestions from the other group.

The group that gets the most amount of thankful things right is the winner.

If you aren’t dramatic and like to draw?

You can also try Thanksgiving Pictionary instead.

Thanksgiving talent show

I know, right?

What’s Thanksgiving without a talent show?

We have one every year.

Nothing fancy.

Before dinner, let everyone know that after the turkey is finished there will be a talent show.  They have the entire dinner to think up a talent to share.

People can sing.

People can read a poem.

People can dance.

People can act out the Thanksgiving story with finger puppets.

It is so much fun.

I know you might be shocked, but we have talent shows for almost every occasion.

Here’s a story about one of our Christmas talent shows.

This is the time.

Don’t hide your Thanksgiving time light under a bushel.

Let it shine. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving from our game playing family to yours.

And I’m SO EXCITED to share this project with you next week.

I’m honored and full of joy to finally be able to announce that I’ve been working with Clayton Home for months on an incredible home.

This home.

I decorated it top to bottom with a fun farmhouse design and then decked the halls for the holidays.

I can’t wait to share all the details and TONS of pictures on Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving and almost Christmas, too.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Peg Peg

    I love these games! Congratulations on your endeavor with Clayton Home--I can't wait to see it!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours at Thistlewood!!! xoxoxo

  2. Image for Cynthia S. Cynthia S.

    Great ideas..going to try them on Boxing Day changing the theme. Wishing you and you’re family a beautiful , loving Thanksgiving from north of the border. P.S. I’m so grateful to be a friend of you and your blog Karianne!

  3. Image for Janette Janette

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all, as we don't celebrate here in the UK I will be saving some of your ideas for my family on Christmas day, many thanks for sharing...can not wait to see the next post....hugs from Blackpool...xx

  4. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    so much fun. Our Thanksgiving tradition is watching a Christmas movie after we've gobbled. Usually "Miracle on 34th Street" but some years we watch a funny one. I get lots of moans but they all sit and watch. :) Happy Thanksgiving, friend!

  5. Image for Crystal Crystal

    Your game suggestions remind me of our family tradition for Christmas for the past 5 years. We all live within 20 minutes of each other, but as the grandchildren have grown, it's hard to spend time together as we did when they were little. We started this a few years ago in leiu of getting gifts for each other. It has turned out to be the BESTEST THING. First we gather at the son's house and play basketball, whiffle ball, or volley ball in our son's barn. Each family then showers (at their own home!) because teenagers smell after playing games, and then gather at Nana and Papa's house to spend the night--all 16 of us. We eat pizza and then each family has to bring a performance/talent to share. It's become such an event, that friends look forward to seeing "talents" that are shared on Facebook. Of course, describing the performances as talents is loose interpretation of the word. We stay up late, sleep all over the house, and then wake up to breakfast cooked by Papa.

  6. Image for Lynn Lynn

    I cant wait til Monday!!!!!!! I live in a Clayton Home wish the farmhouse theme had been available when we were looking for our home. I had commented to Joanna Gaines I wished she would design mobile homes, guess shes to busy with other stuff, so glad you took the torch and ran with it!!!! Thanks also for the Thanksgiving game suggestions, hopefully the kiddos will enjoy them! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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