Thanksgiving Holiday Stress? Not when Humor, Creativity, and Family History are part of the Fun

Q: Why did they let the turkey join the band?  A: Because he had the drumsticks

Q: Why can't you take a turkey to church?  A: Because they use such FOWL language

Q: What kind of music did the Pilgrims like?  A: Plymouth Rock   [1]

Most gifted children don’t like to sit around on Thanksgiving Day watching football.  Your gifted child might have a better time if he breaks the ice by telling a joke.  Gifted children have excellent senses of humor!  They are perceptive and can pick up on subtleties.  They also rapidly process information, enabling them to be very quick witted.  Jokes, puns, and funny anecdotes pique their interests.  So do games with a creative or unusual twist.  Perhaps your child would enjoy adapting an existing board game, i.e., “Neighborhood Monopoly” or Family Clue [2].  Don’t have time or materials, try “Adapted Telephone,” a game developed by some of my former students.  Rather than repeating what the prior person whispers, players must come up with a phrase associated with or connected to what they heard and then pass it on; at the end of each round, each person discloses his idea and his reasoning.  Can’t you see teenage  cousins playing that game?

Families can also turn to old standbys, including

  • Risk
  • Chess
  • Apples to Apples
  • Scrabble
  • Boggle
  • Set
  • Krypto
  • Cranium

Gifted children will be so engaged in any one of these games that you may have to drag them to dinner.

For the more ambitious, gifted authority Carolyn Coil suggests making a family tree. Coil, Encouraging Achievement, p.91. Thanksgiving is a natural time to reminisce about ancestors; everyone is gathered together.  Those who enjoy talking to grandparents or other relatives might be interested in participating in the Legacy Project’s Listen to a Life Essay competition. See, It’s always enlightening to gain a new perspective from a grandparent or distant relative.  Even better, plan on videotaping a formal interview.  Think about the questions you might ask.  What was the greatest change in your lifetime and why?  Space Race?  Internet?  What was life like without computers? Your videotaped interview might turn into a family treasure.

Thanksgiving can be a time to let the creative juices simmer!  Happy Turkey Day!  Indulge and enjoy!


[1] Donna Diegel, Thanksgiving quotes, funny jokes, Thanksgiving one-liners for Turkey Day 2010.

[2] Carolyn Coil, Encouraging Achievement, p. 91


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