Thanksgiving Without Tears

Photo: Horacio Salinas

Balancing Act
It always seems like a great idea at first, but playing those traditional Thanksgiving games of Trivial Pursuit (or Monopoly or Risk) always stretches on past entertainment into irritant. For a pre-turkey activity that’s just as inclusive but a lot faster paced, set up the Bamboleo ($74.95 at Compleat Strategist, 11 E. 33rd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-685-3880). It goes like this: 25 slippery wooden objects are balanced on a platter, which is balanced on a sphere, which is balanced on a pillar. Each player removes one piece from the teetering platter until it topples; whoever has the most pieces at the end wins. It’s simple enough for kids, weirdly wobbly enough to keep adults interested, and a lot more fun after a few glasses of wine.

Photo: Davies + Starr

Seat the Overflow
They’re solid wood, have natural fabric cushions, come in three easily mixable styles, and don’t look like folding chairs ($99.99 to $119.99 at Gracious Home, 1220 Third Ave., nr. 70th St.; 212-517-6300).

Photo: Davies + Starr

Spare the Heirloom
Steve Nemeth will create any size or shape table pad. Order now to have by Christmas; rush service is available at an additional charge (from $159 at Apple Custom Table Pads, 332 E. 77th St., nr. Second Ave., Ste. 1; 212-734-4668).

Photo: Graeme Montgomery/Getty Images

Prepare the Bar—and Get the Stains Out
For a little over a buck and change apiece ($4.99 for a set of four at National Wholesale Liquidators, 632 Broadway, nr. Bleecker St.; 212-979-2400), who cares if these wineglasses get broken? Jerry Pozniak at Cameo Cleaners (284 Third Ave., nr. 22nd St.; 212-677-3949) studied at the French Culinary Institute to better understand food stains; take the aftermath to him.

Photo: Davies + Starr

If you’re…

A post-dinner snifter of a digestivo will help quiet your stomach (Passum Grappa, $47 at Vino, 121 E. 27th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-725-6516).

Photo: Courtesy of Shout! Factory

…In a Food Coma
Collapse by the TV with the classic Canadian sketch-comedy series, SCTV, now on DVD (SCTV: Best of the Early Years, $34.99 at F.Y.E., 1290 Sixth Ave., nr. 51st St.; 212-581-1669).

Photo: Davies + Starr; Courtesy of Kuhn Rikon

…Feeling Useless
Attack the roasting pan (rubber gloves, $1.99 at Kmart, 770 Broadway, at 8th St.; 212-673-1540). Pros use Kuhn Rikon cookware cleaner ($9.95 at Sur La Table, 75 Spring St., at Crosby St.; 212-966-3375).

Photo: Courtesy of Hasbro

Shake off the sluggishness with some intergenerational touch football in Carl Schurz Park (Nerf football, $12.99 at Toys ’R’ Us, 1514 Broadway, nr. 44th St.; 646-366-8858).

Entertain the guests…

…With Pop-Culture Facts
The 2007 edition of the inventively organized news-and-trivia collector Schott’s Almanac has just arrived ($25.95 at Barnes & Noble, 33 E. 17th St., nr. Broadway; 212-253-0810).

Photo: Courtesy of Dopi Karaoke

…With “Suspicious Minds”
DoPi Karaoke connects a video iPod to your TV. Download songs from its Website (and they’ll appear, with lyrics, on the TV). There’s plenty of Elvis for all ($59.99 for the system, $1.99 per song, at J&R Musicworld, 23 Park Row, nr. Beekman St.; 212-238-9000).

…With a Walk Down Memory Lane
Have Videoperfect transfer your old family videos onto DVD (from $29.95 per tape; 21 W. 38th St., nr. Fifth Ave., third fl.; 212-730-1411).

Thanksgiving Guide
Where to eat, what to make, and more.

Thanksgiving Without Tears