5 ways to make Thanksgiving dinner a little sweeter
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Turkey and stuffing? Family and football? All of these favorites are certainly a big part of the all-American holiday, but we all know there is a much deeper and more meaningful reason we sit down to enjoy a meal and quality time with loved ones.
If we simply break it down, it’s about giving thanks. Being thankful for what we have, for the family and friends who add love and richness to every day of the year. It’s easy for that part of the season to get overshadowed by all the hoopla. Don’t get us wrong, we love the hoopla — the sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, the turkey, did we mention pumpkin pie?
Before we put on our stretchy pants and prepare to stuff ourselves into a tryptophan-induced coma, let’s express just how thankful we are to those who mean the most to us. And of course, here at YumEarth, that means making the holiday feel a little bit sweeter. Keep reading for a few fun ways to give thanks to those who are always there for you, give your life meaning and purpose, and those who always save you the last piece of pumpkin pie.
1) Personalized Thanksgiving Place Cards
Place cards at the table may seem a little formal, but if you’re planning a sit-down dinner, what better time to express your thankfulness than when everyone is gathered around the table? Here’s what you do:
- Cut out some heavy card stock or poster board and fold it in half lengthwise to make a tent-like name card.
- Write the name of each guest on the front and decorate with festive illustrations or stickers. Mom tip: this is a great way to include the kids in the project.
- On the inside of each place card, write out why you’re thankful for that person. Don’t be afraid to open up and really let them know how you feel. Nothing makes people hungrier than an emotional ego boost.
- Sweeten the sentiment by attaching delicious YumEarth organic hard candies to each card. They’re the perfect palate cleanser before dessert ;)
2) Gratitude Turkey Centerpiece
Creating a Gratitude Turkey is a great way to get all of your guests involved in expressing thanks on this special holiday. Everyone shares something they’re thankful for and helps fill out the turkey’s tail feathers for all to enjoy. Here’s how it works:
- Paint some different size styrofoam balls and assemble to the main body of your turkey. Check out our inspiration here.
- Glue on some googly eyes, a small felt beak and gobbler. You can also add a festive pilgrim hat if you like.
- Get some colored paper and cut out a bunch of feathers.
- Take a bag of YumEarth organic lollipops and glue each one to one of the feathers you cut out.
- As guests arrive, have them write something they’re thankful for on a feather. Use the lollipop stick to insert the feather into the turkey’s body and create a thankful tail.
- Now, you’ve got a fun, homemade centerpiece that everyone can enjoy.
3) Thankful Advent Calendar
Who says you have to limit your thankfulness to just a single day? Creating a Thankful Advent Calendar is a thoughtful way to express your thanks each day of the month. It’s also a fun project for kids and way to refocus the family on the things that really matter during this holiday season. Ready to get creative?
- Start with large poster board and create the base of your calendar to match up with the days of the month. Be sure to make each square large enough to write a thought in each.
- Decorate the calendar in festive Thanksgiving colors and imagery.
- Grab a bunch of your favorite YumEarth organic candies, and tape one inside each square of the calendar. Individually packaged candies work best such as organic fruit snacks, gluten free gummy bears, organic lollipops, and licorice.
- Each day of the month, remove the sweet treat to enjoy, and write in something you, the kids, or family members are thankful for.
4) Tree of Thankful Treats
This sweet spin on a Thanksgiving Tree is another way to encourage guests and family to share their gratitude and spirit for the holiday. We love the look of this tree, but you can decorate however you like and get creative. Sweeten your tree like this:
- Pot a decorative branch or cluster of branches using florist foam or rocks.
- Hang packs of gummy bears or sour twists off of the branches.
- Cut out various leaf patterns. Punch holes and tie a string through each one.
- Ask guests to replace each candy with a leaf adorned with a simple word or phrase that represents something they are thankful for.
5) Dress Up the Dessert Table
Usually it’s the dinner table that gets all the centerpiece love, but here’s an opportunity to bring some added sweetness to the look and sentiment of the dessert table. Spell out something you’re thankful for using your favorite delicious YumEarth organic candies. Write out on a large piece of paper or poster board, “We are thankful for…” and use the candies to spell out a simple word like “family,” “love,” or “togetherness.” Leave a small bowl of candies next to the decoration and encourage each guest to spell out their own thankful words when going for that second (or third) piece of pie.
However you choose to give thanks and express your gratitude this month, as long as it comes from the heart you can’t go wrong. This year, that warm fuzzy feeling your guests are experiencing isn’t because they’re full.