Try something new for Thanksgiving this year! Read on and I'll tell you how.
I recently saw Ina Garten on "60 Minutes". She has a cooking show on the Food Network. When she was interviewed, she said something to the effect that if you're not having fun with your cooking and entertaining, then why do it? I agree. As another old commercial used to say, "You only go around once in life. You gotta grab for all the gusto when you can." Anyway, something to that effect, but I so agree. Put a little spark in your Thanksgiving get-together. Maybe these suggestions can help.
The first one I'm going to try this year is this questionnaire. I got this from a blog--the link is at the end of my blog. I have rarely had an original idea--I get my ideas from everywhere. And these days, there's a wealth of information and ideas on the internet. One only has to go exploring. I intend to put this questionnaire at everyone's place setting. Instead of the usual round-robin of everyone telling something they're grateful for, they have to fill out this brief questionnaire. Then they share one or two items or the entire list. This list delves a little deeper than the usual items one might think of. And I think that's a good thing. And I like the sharing with your family and friends.
This you wouldn't have to do. I'm just adding it here as we keep a "Big Book of Thanksgiving." In that book, I write what everyone said regarding their statements of gratitude. Then I add it to this scrapbook I keep it solely on Thanksgiving each year. I've been doing it since my grandkids were little. Every year we get it out, and Poppa reads the list from the previous year. As I said, this is just our tradition.
But wait! There's more! In my search on Pinterest, I also found "Conversation Starters" for your Thanksgiving table. I know these are often printed on individual cards and everyone takes one when it's your turn. I'm doing a variation of that, and asking each person only two questions, and everyone gets the same two questions: "What do you admire about the person on your left?" And the second question is, "Why is the person on your right important to you?" We have a family tradition of passing the Navajo talking stick around, and when it comes to you, you have to name something you are grateful for. This year I've added those two questions to our talking stick, so when the stick comes to you, you answer those questions about people on your left and right.
It's such a wonderful holiday--a time to count our blessings if you will. And yes, often people express gratitude for their family, but here's a chance with those two questions to be more specific in your love and gratitude. I've done such table talk before and my daughter-in-law does it fairly routinely at their dinner table. It's such a great bonding time, and a time to learn about and appreciate each other.
And there you have it! Two more ideas for customs to add to your Thanksgiving celebration. The little kids can do this too. Even if they can't write on their cards, an adult can read the questions to them and they can respond. What little kid wouldn't like to tell their grandma that they love their hugs. And what grandma wouldn't want to hear that! It's all good. Just adds to your many, many blessings. Give it a try! And happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Blog with a Thanksgiving questionnaire:
Blog with conversation starters:
Blog with Thanksgiving table talk:
My blog about our "Big Book of Thanksgiving."
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!