Is your club getting ready for the seasonal celebrations to come? It’s a great time to change things up and host a themed meeting, invite the community, and inspire your club to think outside the box!

A special club event can be as simple as establishing a theme for the club meeting, inviting speakers to address the topic, and developing Table Topics questions and a Word of the Day around that theme. A few ideas:

Thanksgiving family traditions: Stories about family are excellent speech topics, and questions inviting tales of turkey are suitable for Table Topics that everyone will have an answer for! Simple decorations can also add to the special theme – cover tables with a roll of kraft paper, and collect beautiful fall leaves to scatter.

Talking turkey: For a humorous meeting, ask speakers to tell crazy tales of holiday meals or events gone awry. During Table Topics, ignite the food wars; ask speakers to weigh in and convince everyone: “stuffing” or “dressing” and why? With or without sausage? Mashed or baked? Pumpkin or Apple pie? Jello with fruit cocktail, yes or no?

Let it snow! Create a winter wonderland by inviting children of club members to make paper snowflakes you can hang from the ceiling in your meeting room or lay on tables with light blue cloths. Speakers can tell stories of winter excursions – and Table Topics can seek out more of those stories from members and guests. Serve vanilla ice cream floats with whipped cream to top off the wintry theme!

Carols: Choose a song like Deck the Halls, or let club members choose a carol to speak on for prepared speeches. For Table Topics, ask participants to share stories of memories centered around caroling or radio singalongs. Invite members to bring a small plate of their favorite cookies, and have everyone vote for Best Cookie!

Seasonal Toasting: Invite speakers to deliver 5-7 minute inspiring tributes to someone who has changed their lives…and ask Table Topics participants to follow that up with toasts to fictional holiday characters like the abominable snowman! Serve up sparkling cider in plastic wine glasses for everyone to enjoy.

Holiday Banquet: If your club is really feeling the spirit of the season, host a sit-down potluck dinner! Turn down the overhead lights and decorate with lamps and battery-operated candles, intermixed with fresh greens from outside. Nix speeches, and instead host a crazy White Elephant gift exchange, in which each member opens their gift and makes up a 2 minute story about how thrilled they are to receive the gift and what they’ll do with it. (Bring extras so guests can participate.)

Invite Santa! If you have a friend with a beard and a red coat, invite them to be a prop at your meeting; speakers can tell stories about special Christmas mornings. And for Table Topics, ask each participant to persuade Santa to finally bring them the dreamt-after toy they never received as a child. (No lap-sitting, please!)

Whatever special meetings you decide to do, be sure to get the word out in your community about the special meeting – guests like to join clubs that have fun!