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Everyone in America is talking about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We’re talking about travel plans, menus, who we’re spending the day with, traditions…. but a good number of people also dread this holiday.

For many, Thanksgiving can be a bloodbath of family fights and political arguments and it can leave us more thankful it’s over than thankful for what we have.

Here are 4 ideas to incorporate drawing into your Thanksgiving holiday to help you (and others) enjoy (or survive) any gathering:

Use paper as your tablecloth or use paper placemats.

(Bonus: your fancy tablecloth won’t get dirty!) Place some pens and markers in the middle of the table so once the plates are cleared, people can doodle if they don’t want to participate in conversation. They might even use it as a communication tool to help explain details in their conversations! This is also a great way to keep the kids’ table engaged.

Join the Kids.

 If you don’t have any control over the table setting, don’t sweat it: Bring some paper and pens and excuse yourself to join the kids table. Teach them how to draw something… They’ll love it!

Practice your portraits.

You’re surrounded by people… why not take the time to practice drawing them? You don’t have to show them if you don’t want to, but it could also be a fun bonding experience. This is also great if you prefer 1-on-1 conversation to groups. “Hey aunt Janice, why don’t you come sit by me! I need to practice drawing faces and then you and I can chat for a little bit while I draw you.”

Play Pictionary Telephone.

This is a fun game for any group! Everyone who plays needs to be able to write… drawing ability is optional, which makes this game even more fun!

How to play:

  1. Get some post-it’s or tear some printer paper into 6–8 pieces per page (depending on size preference).
  2. Determine the number of people playing, then give that same number of paper to each person. (ex: if you have 6 people playing, each person gets 6 pieces of paper.) Number each piece of paper in the corner so they don’t get out of order.
  3. On each person’s #1 sheet, they will WRITE something. It can be a word, but short phrases work best. (ex: “an elephant scuba diving,” or “turkey on the run”) After everyone has finished writing, the game will begin.
  4. Pass your entire stack of cards to the left. You now have 45 seconds to read to yourself what that person wrote on card #1. On card #2, you will now DRAW a picture of what was written. When the 45 seconds is up, pass the entire stack to the left.
  5. Drawing and writing alternates. If you are passed a stack that has writing on it, you draw a picture on the next card. If you are passed a stack with a picture, you write what the picture is portraying on the next card. This continues until you get your original stack passed back to you.
  6. To end the game, everyone shares their stack with the group, showing and reading each card. (personal side note: every time I play this game I laugh so hard I cry. It’s so funny to see how other people interpret drawings and make their own!) The winner could be either the most “on track” stack, or the worst/funniest stack.
  7. If you want to play again, just draw an X through the cards and flip it over, and re-number the sheets of paper.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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