I don’t know about you, but for me, the cooking, cleaning, shopping, dressing up, traveling, rushing, stressing, and going into debt are just a few of the joys to look forward to from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. I vote we all take a day in between all that chaos to have a low-key Thanksmas celebration. Invite who you want! Eat what you want! Wear what you want! Now that I’ve got you all riled up, let me teach you how!
What is Thanksmas … and when?
Thanksmas is a holiday when religion doesn’t matter; it’s about spending time with loved ones — not just family. It can be held anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, usually on a weekend, never before noon. Hold this celebration at your place, someone else’s house if your space is limited, or in a church basement or other venue.
Thanksmas is a great excuse to keep in touch with the friends you can’t even seem to spend time on the phone with anymore. I mean, Facebook is a great social outlet, but it’s not the same as a face-to-face conversation and a hug. Also, we overextend ourselves during the main holidays, and we need a day when we can focus on fun, relationships, and relaxation.
Who is invited to Thanksmas?
Thanksmas includes friends, neighbors, a family you want to get to know better, your own family who might be out of town during the main holidays, etc. Invite who you want, not who you feel like you should. This is a great time to invite someone like that cool ex-aunt who you never get to see anymore or that family you wonder about at church.
- Start with the invitations. Have your kids trace their hands on the front of green and red construction paper for a turkey shape, include the details, and mail those puppies off old-fashioned style.
- Head to the clearance section of your local party store and pick up leftover Thanksgiving goodies like plates, cups, napkins and decorations on the cheap. While you’re there, grab some red and green plastic utensils, then find a plastic or fabric Christmas tablecloth (ask someone you know if you don’t have one).
- Download a bunch of Christmas music and hook up a speaker.
- DON’T try to cook the perfect meal because the goal of this “holiday” is to have fun. Go ahead and cook a turkey and a ham if that’s what floats your boat, but I’m giving you permission to do something different like make pizza, stir-fry, tamales or bratwurst. It’s your party, and the sky’s the limit! Being a little goofy gains you extra Thanksmas points.
- DON’T dress up. I’m not saying to ask your guests to come in jammies (okay, maybe I am), but for the love of all that is Thanksmas, please do not allow your guests to dress up! Comfy is key.
- DON’T stress out. Your house does not need to be immaculate, and your cooking doesn’t need to be gourmet. Make your celebration a potluck so most of the meal is taken care of.
- Put out crayons, coloring books, and games for the kids. And if you happen to pop something in the DVD player for the kids like “A Christmas Story” or “Elf” or Tom and Jerry’s “The Nutcracker” so you can have some adult conversations in another room, I won’t tell anybody.
- Give back. Come up with a charity, and have your guests bring something for it, like canned goods for a food bank or diapers for a local crisis pregnancy center. Teach the kids about religious freedom and diversity, and how great it is to get together with all kinds of different people.
By Kerrie McLoughlin
Scene 75 Entertainment Center
Scene75 is Chicagoland’s brand new indoor amusement park and entertainment center! Located at 460 South Weber Road, Romeoville, IL, and offers fun for all ages. With 14 outstanding attractions, 150+ arcade games, an eatery and sweetshop, Scene75 is your go-to venue for a memorable day out with the family or birthday celebration! Boasting a massive 135,000 sq ft of fun, Scene75 Chicagoland is now the largest indoor entertainment center in the state of Illinois! www.Scene75.com
Fleetwood Roller Rink – Summit
Fleetwood Roller Rink (established 1957) is a family-owned business. Our venue hosts public skating, birthday parties (our specialty) privates and fundraisers. We promote family fun for all ages plus for “health sake, roller skate” Come visit us and join in our fun. Instruction available every Saturday at 1 pm Check for our ongoing specials and public skating times. Located at 7231 West Archer Ave., Summit. 708-458-0300. www.fleetwoodrollerrink.com
Trails Entertainment Centers
Trails Entertainment Centers offers three amazing venues – Enchanted Castle Family Entertainment Center in Lombard, which is an all-indoor facility, and Haunted Trails Family Entertainment Centers located in Burbank and Joliet, which feature both indoor and outdoor attractions. Each location offers a unique variety of games, miniature golf, go-karts, amusement rides and other special attractions. Special discounted rates are available for birthday parties, group outings and corporate picnics & events. For more information visit www.trailsfunparks.com.
Celebrate with Funtopia!
Our parties make you move! The most Fun & Active Birthday Party experience guaranteed!
- Funtopia Naperville located in Westridge Court • 2639 Aurora Ave, Naperville • 630-718-4327. Naperville.funtopiaworld.com
- Funtopia Glenview located in The Glen Town Center • 2050 Tower Dr, Glenview • 224-432-5435. Glenview.funtopiaworld.com
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