Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to share our blessings with loved ones, friends, and neighbors, even people we’ve just met who are alone on this family-centric holiday. Extending a printed or emailed invitation makes the offer even more special and provides your guests with a reference for those details we second-guess at the last minute. What street was that? Did she say 11:00 or 11:30?
If you’ll be in the kitchen to oversee the final lap of Thanksgiving cooking, make sure you designate a helper to greet arriving guests, orient them to their surroundings, and point them to the appetizers. For a conversation starter, research fun facts about Thanksgiving. Write them inside “Did you know?” cards, and place the cards around the gathering area, or write the fun facts on plastic drink cups with permanent marker, and let guests exchange their new-found or rediscovered knowledge.
Expressing our gratitude reminds us we have much to be thankful for and shares the blessings with those gathered. Take a moment before everyone digs in to go around the table and let each person name one blessing they appreciate. Some families hand out corn kernels to be added to a small cup or bowl as individuals speak their thankfulness.
Consider creating a tradition of writing down blessings as they occur throughout the year, starting the day after Thanksgiving. Make a Blessing Jar or Thankful Box to hold the contributions. On Thanksgiving, set a time to take out all the blessing notes and read them together.
Some years are more abundant than others, but there is always a reason to be thankful, and Thanksgiving refocuses our attention, at least for a day, from what we want or need to what we can be thankful we already have. A Happy Thanksgiving is a matter of the heart as much as the dinner menu. Enjoy a day of thankfulness and holiday cheer!