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10 Ways to Beat Those Awkward Silences This Thanksgiving (PHOTOS)

Food & Party Liz Alterman Nov 17, 2014

family at thanksgivingHave you ever found that your Thanksgiving often feels a bit like Groundhog Day? Sure, you're thankful to be among friends and family, but are you ever surrounded by relatives having the same conversations or disagreements year after year?

If your holiday is riddled with awkward silences or never-ending tales of Uncle Bob's sciatica, you'd probably love to see your Turkey Day infused with a big helping of interesting.  

Whether you're the host whose guests are dozing before the turkey is served or the one who forces her children to bring their musical instruments along to break up the monotony, stand down. We've got you covered.

Check out our slideshow filled with ideas on how to make the day more fun, and then tell us: Do you have any tricks for keeping Thanksgiving entertaining for all? 


Image © Wavebreak Media Ltd/Veer/Corbis

Image via JoeShlabotnik/Flickr

1Turkey Karaoke

This variation on the popular bar pastime is perfect for Thanksgiving. Have each person think of a song, but rather than sing it word for word, replace each lyric with "gobble." This turkey-style crooning is ideal for guests who can never get the words right anyway!

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2Walk Down Memory Lane With Some Home Movies

When it comes to home movies, the further back, the better! It's especially fun if you have multiple generations all together and can figure out who looks like whom. Seeing how fast loved ones have grown up will really make you treasure your time together!

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3Play a Game

Pick a game, any game! Whether it's cards, Charades, Pictionary, or even something a family member has made up, a little friendly competition can pass the time while you wait for the turkey!

Image © Jamie Grill/Tetra Images/Corbis

4Where Did the Turkey Lay Its Egg?

This is fun for players of all ages and is like hide-and-seek without squeezing into tight spots. Have a player (called the farmer) leave the room while a hard-boiled egg is hidden. When the farmer returns, he or she must search for the turkey’s missing egg while other players give clues to the egg’s location by gobbling like turkeys.  

If the farmer is far away from the turkey, the other players gobble very softly. Once the farmer gets closer to the turkey, the players’ gobbles get louder until the turkey’s missing egg is found.

Image © Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Corbis

5Look Through Photo Albums

Ask guests to bring a few photo albums -- wedding and vacation ones are great. It's fun to reminisce while gawking at some of the crazy fashions of yesteryear! This is also a good way to remember those who can't be there in person to share the holiday.

Image © Kevin Dodge/Corbis

6Go Outside

If you live in an area where you'll still have nice weather, take advantage of it. Get outside and take a walk, throw a football or a Frisbee, and work up an appetite for the big meal!

Image © Ken Redding/Corbis

7Have Drinks at the Ready

If you know the holiday may get off to a slow start, consider having a signature cocktail ready for guests. Or start with a sparkling wine to celebrate the season and take the edge off. Guests who were stuck in traffic or on crowded trains or buses will surely appreciate it. Plus, a drink may help people loosen up and get the conversation flowing. 

Image via YouTube

8Watch a Holiday Classic

If you already know the afternoon might have a tendency to drag, pick up a classic holiday film you know the whole crew will enjoy. From It's a Wonderful Life to A Christmas Story, you're sure to find something that will fill the room with laughter and good cheer as opposed to awkward silences.

Image via YouTube

9Build a Gingerbread House

Building a gingerbread house is a great craft for everyone from kids and budding architects to grandparents and any guest looking to steal a gumdrop before dinner. This activity also keeps kids out of the busy and often crowded kitchen. 

Image via DonMcCullough/Flickr

10Thanksgiving Trivia

Find out who's the biggest turkey of them all with some Thanksgiving trivia. Make up question-and-answer cards ahead of time, divide into teams, choose an emcee, and let the fun begin.

Practice question: True or False -- Thanksgiving is celebrated only in the United States.

Answer: False. Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada too. 

entertaining thanksgiving traditions parties holidays holiday entertaining

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