It is just about a week before Thanksgiving and I thought I would share some of my thoughts for the upcoming celebration. This year we will be playing the Gratitude Game. As the family matriarch on my side, my husband and I host many holiday celebrations. In some respects, Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. It is a time of expressing thanks, without expecting anything in return. It is worth the work to sit and enjoy a meal with loved ones.
My Thanksgiving table has changed dramatically over the years. Important members of my family have gone to heaven to be together. Some have removed themselves by choice or design. Others now celebrate with their now extended families. Still others are too geographically challenged to enjoy our holiday meal. Nothing changes them from being family. They are still as much in my heart as those who share the Thanksgiving meal at our table. Perhaps that is why I came up with the Gratitude Game.
I will admit that I try to include some novelty as part of every holiday celebration. Some have been failures. Some have almost resulted in my loved ones holding hands and getting ready to sing Kumbaya. (This may or not have been to mock me.) This year, one of my appetizers will be an expectation that everyone share in the Gratitude Game.
What exactly is the Gratitude Game? In past years, I have filled a bowl with family names to pick for grab bag Christmas gifts. That tradition has changed. Instead, I will be offering everyone a folded piece of paper with gratitude instructions. Here are some samples of what my guests will be asked to speak about:
- Express thanks for someone in this room
- Express thanks for an event that was actually precipitated because of a bad situation
- Express thanks for someone not with us today
- Express thanks for something you might take for granted
- Express thanks for an animal who has been part of your life
These are just a few examples of things that require just a little thought. Although I am famous for putting people on the spot, I think the Gratitude Game is an important one. It is a calorie free part of the meal, which offers fulfillment. It is what Thanksgiving means to me.
I could easily answer any of the questions I will serve as my Thanksgiving appetizer. I live my life in eternal gratitude. I am grateful God allows me to wake up new each morning. I am happy that I have the joy of family. I am thankful for things that are basic needs and the ability to provide them. In short, I am appreciative of my life and the people in it.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we have, rather than expressing regrets. Consider the Gratitude Game at your celebration this year. Please let me know the results!