Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Playing Favorites

Things might get a little quiet around your Thanksgiving table this year. You want people to connect and converse, but you also want to keep things harmonious and stay away from potentially divisive conversation topics like politics and Coke vs. Pepsi. At some point in the day, you might look around and start feeling disheartened by the football being watched when everyone is meant to be rejoicing in gratitude for those around them.

Let's see, you could shake things up with a game of charades, but those who forgot to wear sweatpants may be feeling too bloated to really get in the spirit. You could get out Trivial Pursuit or Taboo or a deck of cards, but if there are a bunch of children running around (whose kids are those, anyway?), good luck with that.
How about a game where participation requires very little energy-output, there are no "rules" and so no one needs to raise their voice and feel like a bossy butt (who me?), and everyone wins?
That's right, everyone wins. Everyone wins when we learn more about our family members and friends!
Intrigued (and perhaps also repelled by my cheese factor)? If things get dull for you over Thanksgiving, why not play a few rounds of The Favorite Game. It's an oldie, but a goody.
Pick a category and each person names their favorite for that category. Easy as that.

I'll give you some examples:
Color? Green
Color to wear? Brown
Christmas song? "Baby It's Cold Outside"
Cracker? Triscuit
Cookie? Iced Molasses
Board game? Trivial Pursuit
Kids' show? Phineas and Ferb
Plotline on this season of The Office? The Andy/Darryl friendship
Toilet Paper? Scott
Variety of M&M? Peanut Butter
Sport to watch? Basketball
Sport to play? Tennis
Form of exercise? Walking fast
Pro or former pro on Dancing with the Stars? Julianne
Food Network chef? Ina Garten
Small kitchen gadget? Pizza Cutter
Convenience store snack? Fountain Diet Coke and white chocolate Flipz
Flavor of Jolly Rancher? Cherry
Beer? Miller Lite
Herb? Basil
Sugar Cereal? Golden Grahams
Donut? The kind with icing (not pudding) inside
Part of the newspaper? Book reviews (and the ads)
Hot beverage? Chai Latte

Sure, there might be some controversy. I know my hubby, for example, would claim Cottonelle as his favorite t.p., and I can see a debate ensuing with me arguing for the cost efficiency and plumbing friendliness of Scott while he promotes the comfort of Cottonelle.
Sure, there might be some difficulty. People will want to give multiple answers or might overthink things as if their favorites are being recorded for posterity on a gold tablet. You can decide if you want to be breezy and allow for double answers. You can decide if you need to tell your cousin to pick a favorite kids' show in fifteen seconds or else you'll show him the door.
But there might also be some beautiful moments of connection. When you and your husband's cousin's daughter realize you both heart Barefoot Contessa and single-ply toilet paper . . . beautiful moment right there.
You'll have to customize the categories for your group. Make sure to give everyone a chance to come up with a category. Have fun and stay breezy!

If people seem to be in a Grinch kind of mood, you could try The Least Favorite Game:
Herb? Cilantro
Sport to watch? Golf
Flavor of Jolly Rancher? Watermelon
Kids' show? Fresh Beat Band
Games played at family gatherings? The Favorite Game (just kidding)

You get the picture.
Please share any of your favorites or least favorites in the comments. Any traditions to promote bonding and fun at your Thanksgiving celebration?


Anonymous said...

I'll post more answers when not typing from a handheld device. However, if we played this together then I would have to debate your cilantro placement...worst? No way. I try to think up ways I can use it in more things because I love it so much. Favorite fast food fries: mcdonalds. Favorite candy: rolos. Favorite season: summer. Favorite (old) 90210 character: Kelly. Favorite reality show host: Tom bergeron. Favorite impulsive item at Walgreens: cowtail. Ok I wrote more than I thought I would! LAP

Anonymous said...

cute post! i could go for an iced molasses cookie right now! favorite color to wear: white, favorite sport to watch and play: soccer, favorite small kitchen gadget: bottle opener; favorite convenience store snack: pizza flavored combos; donut: sugar twist; form of exercise: running; hot beverage: hot water (a new and weird kick of mine)
i'd love to see my older brother play this game :) you can imagine. rita

brainella said...

What a great idea.

If I didn't have to sit around with my in-laws and watch them drink and bicker, I might be tempted to do this...

Sue and Randy said...

I couldn't agree more with your Least Favorite list...Fresh Beat Band and watermelon candy--torture!

Might be fun to exchange the lists and have people read them off and try to guess who wrote the responses.
All this is making me wish I was traveling for the holidays...but I'll make due with just the 4 of us.
I'm loving all the posts this month!

Actchy said...

MEP, I'm relieved to see that Sandy is not your favorite Food Network chef. For a while, you had me worried.

Actchy's Favorite Time of Day: Right. This. Second...when all three of her off-spring are taking oddly-long naps for the first time ever.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Now that most of our kids are older (we still have some babies in the family, though) we usually play a board game that the bigger kids can all do. Then the little girls dance to the Monkees.

PITA said...

i have a lot of favorites...favorite color-pink, favorite color to wear-black, favorite thanksgiving food - mashed potatoes, favorite sport to watch- basketball, favorite movie to watch while wrapping Christmas presents- Love Actually, favorite sweet treat- white chocolate covered pretzels, favorite thing my mom cooks - chicken and broccoli. that is all for now!

dusty earth mother said...

Mep, I certainly hope you're not saying that you hate cilantro. That would break my heart. But I love your games and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Send me a pic of you preparing turkey with the necklace on :-)

Lady Jennie said...

my favorites, hmmm blue, hot coffee, scones, pizza & diet coke, chocolate and peanut butter ice cream. oh wait - this is not just about food!

E... said...

I have fond memories of playing this game with you.
snack: popcorn
from a convenience store: chocolate donut gems
color to wear: green
children's product: detangling spray
children's show: Wonder Pets
Thanksgiving Food: filling (aka stuffing)
starburst flavor: cherry
yankee candle scent: mcintosh apple
brand of hard cider: Hard Core
type of white wine: albarino
thing about newborns: smell of the top of their head

Stacia said...

Donuts with icing inside. Yes! Now I want one ...

Blog Designed by : NW Designs