a thankful game

Come Thursday, countless families will gather ’round their festively decorated tables and feast on a meal for which there are few caloric equivalents.  As part of the celebration, many will go around the table, giving each person the chance to voice gratitude for all that he or she has been blessed with.  There are other variations of the same idea: some will write a word or a phrase on a turkey feather, some will pen it in a guest book, and others still will take a Sharpie directly to the tablecloth to note thanks.  Personally, I’m kind of partial to the tablecloth idea, but we’re not going to do that this year.  This Thanksgiving, we’re going deeper.  More personal.  Straight to the heart of the matter.

While I am no doubt so very thankful for health and prosperity, that which I am most blessed by is the company of those who will gather around the table with me (and those loved ones who will gather miles away from us).  And so this year, I plan to introduce a new way to voice our thankfulness.

I plan to honor each and every member of the family during the meal.  We’re going to focus on each person for just a few minutes, giving every family member the chance to say why he or she is thankful for __________.  When it’s Kennedy’s turn, for example, I might start by saying that I’m thankful that she always offers to help, or that she so generously and creatively makes up games to play with her brother and sister, or that she is thoughtful enough to email me pins she knows I’ll love.  And then we’ll move on to let every other person at the table shower Kennedy with thanks.  When everybody has had a turn to share with Kennedy, we’ll focus our attentions on the next person until we come full circle.  And when we’re done, I think we’ll move on and talk about the ways in which we’re thankful for the family members who can’t be with us.

Just thought I’d share, in case you’re looking for a new way to give thanks this Thursday.  If you have a unique way of showing gratitude at your Thanksgiving table, I’d love to hear it!


  1. We have always done this at dinner for each person’s birthday as it comes along! We are going to try the tablecloth idea this year…I love the idea of adding to it each year and being able to go back and be reminded of past year’s gratitude.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. Lovely. Thanks for sharing what your family will be doing.

    I also like Kar’s idea of doing this same thing on each family member’s birthday.

  3. We also go around the table and give our individual thank you’s. Your idea is a good one. I’ll definitely be wishing you and the family could be seated at our table this year. I always think back to that Thanksgiving we shared several years ago when you were first married and wish we could all be together. Give kisses and hugs to everyone for me instead!

  4. That is an awesome idea! We have been asking the kids each night what they are thankful for during this month of November, but I really like the idea of affirming each member of the family!

  5. I love that idea! I’ll have to remember it for next year. <3 And pin this post. :)

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