Feeling Grateful with Family and Friends

Last year at Thanksgiving, I wanted the focus of the meal to be around gratitude. Remembering an exercise I learned in graduate school, I modified it to fit my family and it was a huge success.  I am sharing it with you and your family as my gift to you this Thanksgiving.

Part I

Think of what most people in your group are likely to say they are thankful for.  For this example, we can say, “Faith, health, family and friends.”

Part II

Prior to the meal, by phone, text email, or carrier pigeon, or even as they arrive, take each person aside for a moment and ask them, “In addition to your faith, health, family and friends, what two specific things are you grateful for?”  Write the answer down, without their name, on a small slip of paper in a bowl.

Part III

During the meal, pass the bowl and have everyone take two slips.  Alternate going around the table, with one person reading the slip and everyone guessing who wrote it.  In addition to the immediate things most of my family was grateful for, my son said blueberries and my brother said strawberries!  Interesting coincidence, especially when neither are in season in Maryland.  Other fascinating similarities were indoor plumbing and air conditioning, again submitted by two different family members. What about pet iguanas or colleagues who make us feel great or fuzzy bathrobes?

Both the gratitude and the guessing were a fun way to spend time together.  May your holiday be filled with warmth and gratitude.

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