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Thanksgiving Kids4
If you do a quick search for “thanksgiving” and “young children,” you’ll notice a few things right away. One, printable coloring pages claim to solve all your problems. Two, decorations for the kids’ table have never been cuter (or more insanely complicated – thanks, Pinterest!). And three, the focus of nearly every single advice piece seems to be on keeping kids busy and entertained while grown-ups do their thing.

Here’s a little slice of my reality. Coloring pages lost their appeal long ago. The number of minutes my kids would spend coloring a happy pilgrim would be about equal to the number of minutes it took to find and print the pilgrim, so that buys me zero time cooking or socializing. As for table decorations, anything within reach of my toddler won’t last a hot second, so there’s another place where the cost/benefit ratio is not in my favor.

But maybe most importantly, I’m not sure “keeping kids entertained” while I host Thanksgiving is my end-goal anyway. I’d rather look for ways to include them in the events of the day – and if I can’t directly include them, I’d like to create ways for them to feel a part of the celebration.

Hosting Thanksgiving is a big undertaking (as we’ve talked about over the last several posts), and if you’re the mom in charge and you have small children, something’s got to give. Often it’s our patience with the littlest ones that goes first, followed by their willingness to cooperate at all, and the cycle can spiral downward fast. When a child feels stressed, marginalized, or out of sorts, his behavior reflects it, and all the printables in the world aren’t going to keep a kid like that out of your hair. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you juggle hosting and mothering little ones at the same time (and take heart – you can do it!): 

Fill Their Cups

If you know that the demands of the day are going to pull you away from your kids, start “filling their cups” well in advance. Make sure to build in little bits of time together this week, whether it’s a walk after dinner, a longer story at bedtime, or some time doing something they love like LEGOs or drawing.

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Sweet Pickled Beaver? On Discovering My Food Culture

by Meagan Francis November 24, 2014
Sweet Pickled Beaver? On Discovering My Food Culture

We head into Thanksgiving week, we’re thinking not only about the food we serve, but the memories, traditions, and family culture it represents. Tomorrow we’ll be back with another post in our How To Host Thanksgiving series, but for today we’re revisiting this post on discovering your food culture. Enjoy! For most of my adult […]

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by Meagan Francis November 22, 2014
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Hosting Thanksgiving this year? If you’re a newbie host, the Big Meal can be more than a little intimidating. Here are some questions you might have about pulling the menu together, and what I’ve learned from experience about everything from timing the meal to thawing the turkey.  “When should I take the turkey out of the […]

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by Sarah Powers November 21, 2014
30 Ways To Get Ready To Host Thanksgiving (That Have Nothing To Do With Cooking)

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by Meagan Francis November 20, 2014
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Help Me Choose A Throw For My Sofa! (Plus, 15% Off Pillows, Poufs & Throws At Wayfair.com!)

by Meagan Francis November 19, 2014
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Thanks so much to Wayfair.com for sponsoring this post and providing me with a gift card to purchase toss pillows and a throw blanket for my living room! When we bought our living-room sofas and armchair, we purposely went with subtle colors. I love bright color, but get bored quickly, and we knew the purchase […]

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Fall Cleaning Challenge Week 5: Kitchen, Bathrooms & Touch-Ups

by Meagan Francis November 17, 2014
Fall Cleaning Challenge Week 5: Kitchen, Bathrooms & Touch-Ups

Whoa, where did all the dust go? If’ you’ve been taking part in the fall cleaning challenge so far, you’ve made a ton of progress in getting those dusty surfaces and dirty nooks and crannies cleaned up. Good for you! What I’ve learned during this process: cleaning – even thorough, deep cleaning – actually doesn’t […]

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8 Inspiring Quotes About Gratitude (Free Printables!)

by Sarah Powers November 13, 2014
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I love a good quotation, don’t you? In getting my home ready to host Thanksgiving this year, I came across some picture frames I’m not using for anything else. I thought it would be fun to fill them with quotes about gratitude and use them as part of our decor for the holiday. Here are eight quotes I found […]

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by Meagan Francis November 11, 2014
Fall Cleaning Challenge Week 4: Catch Up!

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5 Ways To Organize Your Holiday Gift Lists (Plus A Free Download!)

by Sarah Powers November 10, 2014
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