Fun activities to do with family and friends this Thanksgiving

Co – Contributor: Taylor S.

Fun activities to do with family and friends this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only two days away! Bringing with it all the wonderful activities families look forward to at gatherings every year. With covid having such a large impact on our big family gatherings these past few years, it is finally time to bring those activities back around this holiday season. I have scoured the internet looking for fun things to do and this is what I found. Here are three enjoyable activities to make memories with at your family feast. 

Who doesn’t enjoy a great game of family charades? I know it is a fan favorite for me. However, I found a way to make it more festive this year. Now, don’t let me fool you. This wasn’t an original idea. For the original post click here. For those of you who have not played charades before, here’s what you do. Take your thanksgiving words, I will list them below, and write them down on strips of paper. Fold your strips of paper, put them into a cup or bowl, and give it a good shake. Divide into two equal teams. The first person for the first team will take out a paper and act out what the word is. Everyone one that team has to guess the word. If they get it right that team gets a point. The person will continue acting out as many words as they can for one minute. At the end of that one minute, tally up how many words the team got right. Continue the same thing with the next team. Do this until you run out of words. After all words have been acted out, the team with the most points wins! 

Thanksgiving words for charades 

Turkey  Oven  Gravy  Leftovers  Mashed potatoes  Pie  Family  Thankful  Pilgrim  Mayflower  Fall  Dinner  Dessert  Tasty  Cooking  Tablecloth  Home  Hungry  Drumstick  Football  Leaves  Blessing  Feast  Gobble  Wishbone  Centerpiece  Friends  Volunteer  Harvest  Pumpkin  Parade

Scattergories have always been a crowd pleaser in my home. The way to play scattergories is; you have these lists numbered 1-6. Each list has six categories on it. Each person gets a list and a sheet of paper. You roll the alphabet die and whatever letter it lands on has to be the first letter of each word you put down for each category. Set a timer for two minutes and try to get as many categories as you can. After the timer runs out, each person calls out what they had. For each answer you get 1 point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins. I went looking through pinterest and found a thanksgiving version of the game. For the original post with free printables for all the lists, click here.

Thanksgiving scattergories lists


  1. Seen in a holiday parade
  2. At a football game
  3. I’m thankful for
  4. Thanksgiving food
  5. Family members
  6. Cities where family lives 


  1.  Football players
  2. Parade balloons
  3. Thanksgiving side dishes
  4. Places to nap
  5. Fall colors
  6. Thanksgiving dessert 


  1. NFL teams
  2. Thanksgiving traditions 
  3. Family nicknames
  4. Animals with feathers
  5. States 
  6. Reminds me of Fall


  1. Grown on a farm
  2. Black Friday deals
  3. Foods kids hate
  4. What to do with leftover turkey 
  5. Holiday songs
  6. Modes of transportation


  1. Board games
  2. Vegetables 
  3. Family members
  4. Holiday decorations
  5. Found on a dinner table
  6. Places to nap


  1. People in your family 
  2. Seen in a holiday parade 
  3. Football players
  4. NFL teams
  5. Grown on a farm
  6. What I want for Christmas

This last activity is something your family can start on Thanksgiving and continue doing until Christmas day. It is an acts of kindness jar. On Thanksgiving day you and your family will get jar of some sort and decorate it. This will be your acts of kindness jar for the holiday season. Write out the kind acts that you want to do this holiday season on strips of paper, fold them up, and put them in your jar. Each day one person will pull an act from the jar and the family will perform the kind act together. This is a great way to spread joy and kindness throughout the entire holiday season. Listed below will be 20 acts of kindness to start off your jar. To see the original post will more kind acts click here

Kind acts

  1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  2. Rake your neighbor’s leaves
  3. Make get well cards and take them to the hospital
  4. Collect and donate books to the library
  5. Write thank you notes to teachers
  6. Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru line
  7.  Bring balloons to a patient at the children’s hospital
  8. Donate old games and toys to a women’s shelter
  9. Deliver treats to your local fire or police station 
  10. Write thank you notes to the doctors and nurses and deliver them to the hospital
  11. Send Christmas cards to deployed soldiers 
  12. Go caroling at a nursing home
  13. Be Santa for a family in need
  14. Go out to eat and over tip your server
  15. Leave a gingerbread house kit on a neighbor’s porch
  16. Leave a Christmas gift for your amazon delivery driver
  17. Offer to mow your neighbors lawn
  18. Take a friend to lunch
  19. Offer to help put up your neighbors Christmas lights
  20. Write a kind note and give it to a stranger

The holidays are a great way to be together with the people you love. These fun activities are a wonderful way to make even more memories together. Now, these do not have to be the only games you play this thanksgiving. Break out that game of chess, monopoly, go fish! Whatever you want. Just try to enjoy the company you are surrounded with this year. 

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

Staying Safe During The Holidays

Co – Contributor: Taylor S.

Staying safe during the holidays

We all know thanksgiving and black friday are coming up. Christmas and new years are right behind them. We all know that quite a few accidents happen around the holidays. People drinking or driving quickly trying to get parties, family gatherings, or even sales on black friday. People get robbed or get into fights over the last product on the shelf that everyone wants. People set up scam sites on the internet to scam people out of their money. People start acting crazy around the holidays. So, how can you stay safe around the holidays? 

Anyone who travels to different family gatherings can tell you that the roads are crowded with crazy drivers on thanksgiving and christmas. People are speeding because they are stressed out about being late. People have already started drinking at the first gathering but are still the ones driving to the next gathering. During the holiday season it is even more important to go the speed limit and continuously check your mirrors while on the road. If you are staying late at a family or friend’s house, try to stay the night. It is better to drive early the next morning instead of late at night with all the drunks on the road. If you have to drive home late at night, try to avoid the highways on your way home. If you happen to be the one who has been drinking, please get a designated driver for your safety and the safety of those around you. 

We all know that family time can be stressful. Not all families get along. Actually, most families don’t get along. Putting everyone in a room and expecting them to get along is a recipe for disaster. One sibling tries to one up the other. Cousins bringing up past arguments. In laws.. That’s enough said in itself. What do you do when feelings start to get hurt? Do you walk away and cool off? Not usually. Most people stay and argue to the point that things escalate and fights break out. This year, you are going to walk away. Staying safe doesn’t just mean physically or financially. It means staying safe emotionally too. This year put your feelings and mental health first. Walk away. Allow yourself to cool down before punches start being thrown.

If you are shopping in person there are a few things you can do to stay safe. The first and probably most important thing is to never shop alone. Most people out there looking to rob someone prey on the people, mostly women, who are shopping by themselves. Always bring a buddy. Make it a girls errand day. Another way to stay safe is parking. Always find parking in a well lit area as close to the front of the store as you can get. I know it may seem easier to park in the back. However, this is usually where people like to lay low and wait for unsuspecting shoppers to come out to their cars. The last thing you can do to stay safe is always be aware of your surroundings. Look around at the people in the store. Always keep your eye out. Did you see the same person at the last few stores? If you think you have seen the same person at more than one store you have been in that day this is what you do. Calmly walk around the store and try to find a security guard. If you cannot find a security guard, find an employee with a radio and let them know the situation. They can call someone that can walk you out of the store and make sure you get in your car safely. 

There are so many fake websites and scammers out there especially during the holidays. I could do a whole article on just this topic. However, a paragraph will have to do for now. People really need to be careful when buying from facebook or instagram ads. Many people set up fake websites during the holidays. There are a few things to look for when trying to decide if a website is legit or a scam. The biggest thing to look for is spelling errors. Take a look at the web address. If there is a misspelling in the web address, that’s an automatic red flag. The next thing to look for is if there is a way to contact customer support. If there is not an address, email, and phone number, it is probably a scam. The next thing I usually like to do when trying out a brand new website that I have never heard of? I usually go to social media and look for real people who have bought from these websites. If I cannot find any, I don’t buy from that website. Another thing to watch out for are text message scams. Many people will try to text you claiming to be your bank, amazon, facebook, ect. Do not click the link in the message. Clicking that link allows the scammer access to all your information. If you receive a link for your bank, amazon, etsy or anything else along those lines, always call customer service to confirm they sent the text message. If you find that the company did not send the text message, immediately block the number and change your password for that website. 

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. People start to get desperate. This article is to help you try to stay more alert. Drive more cautiously. Walk away before doing something you will regret. Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye for online scammers. Please stay vigilant during this holiday season and keep yourself safe.  

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

image credit

Robinson, L. (2020, December 1). 5 holiday safety tips. Rampart. Retrieved November 16, 2022, from

Stress Awareness

Co – Contributor: Taylor S.

Stress awareness

When you google how to deal with stress, everything will say the same things. They say breathe, meditate, exercise, eat healthy, ect. However, what if your stress is money, time, or your relationship. How is meditating, or eating healthy, or breathing supposed to help with those stresses. Some of those things could even add to your stress. What if you don’t have time to exercise, or the money to eat healthier? How is meditating going to help with your relationship?  This isn’t your average article about stress. Here we are going to discuss three different topics of stress and how to try to manage those stressors. 

Almost everyone I have ever talked to stresses about money. With increased gas prices and inflation on pretty much everything, money is a huge stressor. How do you start to manage your money stress? The biggest thing is to redo your budget. I started saving over $500 a month just by redoing my budget. You would be surprised how many of us have memberships or subscriptions that we don’t even use or have completely forgotten about. There are many of us that eat so much because delivery is so convenient nowadays. The easiest way to start redoing your budget is to go through your bank account for the last 90 days. Write down all recurring charges to your account and look up what they are for. If it is a subscription that you forgot about or something you don’t use anymore, cancel it. That gym membership you have not used in four months, or that streaming service you started paying for so you could watch that one show, cancel them. You don’t need them. I just did this myself last month and started saving $300 just by canceling unused memberships. The next thing you do is, go through your bank account for the last 30 days. Write down all the charges you have for takeout or restaurants. You will be surprised how much you actually spend in just door dash or uber eats orders alone. I realized I was spending over $800 a month in food. For just two people! I was completely flabbergasted when I saw that amount. Now I know not everyone wants to cook every night or for lunch everyday. However, you will be amazed by how much you could save by only eating out once or twice a week. You don’t have to cut out door dash or uber eats completely. Just maybe don’t order it for every meal, every day. Doing those two tasks will help you save so much a month and will lower your stress when it comes to money.

Everyone always says there aren’t enough hours in the day. Sometimes it may feel like this when you have a busy schedule. Time management can be very stressful for a lot of people. How to reduce this stress? Make a schedule. But don’t just make the schedule, actually stick to it. Make a schedule for your day. Plan out how much time you are willing to spend on each task that is needed to be done for that day. Now don’t just wake up and make your schedule for that day. Sit down the night before and plan out what needs to be done. You want to do this the night before so you will know what time you need to go to sleep and what time you will need to wake up. Sticking to a schedule will give you a visual on what you actually have time for and what can wait til later. Once you make your schedule, do not add to it. Did friends or family ask for your help with something that’s not already in your planned schedule for that day? Learn to say no. Now, I know we all want to help our friends and family. However,  it is okay to tell someone that you do not have the time. Don’t be afraid to make your own life and daily activities a priority. Keeping a schedule and not adding more to it will help reduce your time management stresses. 

After talking with quite a few people, I found that another big stressor in life is relationship stress. Couples who have been together for 10 or 20 plus years still stress over their relationship. It is very common. Now, did I read this online somewhere? Absolutely not. I asked real people in very real relationships. New couples, long term couples, engaged couples, married couples. It is the same thing across the board no matter what stage you are in. Am I doing my part, is my partner happy, does my partner feel seen and respected? These are questions that people ask themselves throughout their entire relationship. How do we deal with these stresses? This is actually a very simple answer. Keep doing the little things. Don’t spend the whole day stressing over your relationship. Instead spend the day doing something small for you, your partner, or both of yall as a couple. You would be surprised how the little things can make a big impact. Maybe you and your partner are hanging out with friends outside on a cool night. You know that your partner only drinks water. Next time you go over to the cooler to get yourself a drink, maybe take that bottle of water that’s underneath all the ice and put it on top. Your partner will talk about that one small gesture for days. They will have felt seen and know that you thought about them. Is your house a mess after a long week and you have a day off? Clean the house. Your partner will come home and know that you thought of them and did something so that they didn’t have to after a long day at work. They will know that you respect everything they do by not adding something else for them to do. Now let’s say that you are stressing over feeling like you and your partner are not spending enough time together. Does that mean that you have to plan a fancy date night to add to your money stresses previously mentioned? No! Do something small. Plan an evening in. Maybe yall cook dinner together instead of only one person doing it. Watch that show that yall have been wanting to watch, or watch that episode of that show you missed from last week. Again, it doesn’t have to be big. Continuing to do those little things will help reduce the stress of “am I doing enough”.

 Let’s take a beat and talk about how these stresses can impact your life and your mental health. If you are someone like me, when you get stressed you get very anxious. Not dealing with those stresses head on will make that anxiety grow until you feel that it is impacting your motivation to get things done. We all get overwhelmed with our stresses and this can lead to anxiety. It’s not always easy to deal with anxiety. Now, I am not a doctor so I can’t touch too much on the subject. However, I can share a few links at the bottom of this article that can touch more on the subject as well as a hotline you can call to talk through the anxiety you are feeling

Stress is something we all deal with. It can be overwhelming. However, there are ways to try to reduce each stressor. I really hope this article can help you deal with daily stressors. I have attached a link and a few different numbers you can call if the stress becomes too much and starts impacting other aspects. Please do not hesitate to call one of them. You are not alone. There will always be someone who is there for you. 

Coming to you from 258 Terp Time

By yours truly,

Taylor Southerland

Mental health services link

24/7 mental health helplines 


Anxiety Hotline Number, 

Bulgn. “National Stress Awareness Day Holiday Concept Vector Image on Vectorstock.” VectorStock, 9 Oct. 2020,

“Mental Health Crisis Services.” Texas Health and Human Services,