Every family has its Thanksgiving traditions. For some, no meal is complete without Grandma’s candied sweet potatoes and for others, it’s not Thanksgiving without the annual 10:00am rain or shine football game. Our tradition is a bit non-traditional but just as sacred! Every year for the last 25 years, my husband and whatever children we had at the time, have gone to Chicago for Thanksgiving. This holiday has always been and will always be, my mother-in-law’s day. Fortunately, she is an amazing cook and dinner is never-anything-but delicious.
At the conclusion of the meal as we are all sitting around wondering why and how we ate so much, the youngest members of the family drags out two very old and worn travel bags. Bulging out of those weathered carryalls is an equally aged bingo game. Yes, it’s time for the annual Thanksgiving bingo game! If you ask why bingo, the answer you receive is why not? This post-meal game has been a tradition for 40 years and there’s no indication that anyone wants it to end.
Teenage cousins are responsible for selling the cards for $1 each and multiple purchases are encouraged. Dried beans and small round discs (which look like the hotdogs in spaghettios with franks) serve as the markers.
Calling the game is almost as important a tradition as the game itself. The actual caller is generally the oldest high schooler in attendance, assisted by the elementary school crowd. It is a familial rite of passage to move from bingo helper, to caller to participant only. While calling is not difficult, it requires tremendous patience since there are often guests who can’t hear and repeating the numbers many times is required. Generally, 4-5 games are played with the payout getting bigger after each one. The first game is always a line and the last is stand until your number is called.
While I must confess, I was a bit skeptical when I first started playing bingo so many years ago. But now, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving for anyone in my family without the chance to leave dinner with a thicker wallet and a thicker stomach!
Here are a few more ideas for your Thanksgiving celebrations:
- Thanksgiving Ideas from Party411
- Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities
- Thanksgiving Crafts Party
- Thanksgiving Kid's Table Pilgram Hat Straw Toppers
- Thankful Turkey
- Turkey Bowl
Do you have any Thanksgiving Day activity traditions that you share with your family?