Three Fresh Ways to Serve Gratitude on Thanksgiving

In seven short days, we will all be gathered around a table, large or small, with a few close loved ones or so many extended family members the children’s table is 5-30 year olds. This table will likely have a turkey, tofurkey, turducken, or General Tso’s chicken and will be serenaded by Frank Sinatra on Spotify or a muted football game.

Regardless of the setting, this is the day that we remember to be thankful, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Gratitude looks good all year. A few weeks ago, we wrote about relieving ourselves from the guilt of feeling gratitude on Thanksgiving. Whether you’re feeling grateful or not, here are a few fun group activities to get the gratitude flowing as freely as the champagne:

Guess your gratitude. Have each person at the table write three things they are grateful for on separate slips of paper. Put them all in a bowl. Pass the bowl around the table as each person reads one aloud and guesses whom it came from. You’ll be surprised to hear what others are grateful for, especially those closest to you. My sister is my best friend. I never knew she thought of me every morning when she put on the rain boots I gave her—until we played this game.

Eat your gratitude. Make a special dish in honor of a family member who is no longer with us. Then, as you eat it, have each person at the table share a memory about that person.

My grandmother wasn’t perfect and her steamed Brussels sprouts were evidence.Since she passed away, I have learned that there are thousands of ways to prepare Brussels sprouts that don’t taste like sweaty socks, but one bite of her steamed concoction immediately brings me back to our large family Thanksgivings as a kid and makes me grateful for where I come from.

Write your gratitude. When is the last time you wrote someone a thank you note on Thanksgiving? We haven’t either. What an obvious and simple idea. Send a thank you note to someone you treasure but couldn’t spend the holiday with.

Whatever your Thanksgiving table brings next week—overcooked turkey, a football induced coma, or family drama—don’t forget to share a few words (remember to make them specific!) of thanks to those around you. And heck, while you’re at it, thank the bag boy working so hard to pack those groceries up for you. You might just be the first.

Gobble gobble,