Put the Thanks Back Into Your Thanksgiving
The Google definition of the word “thankful” is to be pleased and relieved. We have come a long way since 1621 when the Pilgrims were pleased to have food to eat and relieved to not die of a plague the previous year. Today, it’s easy to imagine our family and friends are pleased to not have had to host the dinner this year and relieved to have a few days off of school or work. According to the Nationwide Family Fun Facts website, it takes on average 7 hours to make a Thanksgiving meal and 16 minutes to consume it. Quick, get back to the football game on the television! Rush to clear away dishes to show you are “doing your part” to help the host. Or worse, leave quickly because Aunt Edna is driving you nuts!
In this blog, we’d like to share some ideas for simple ways to re-focus your Thanksgiving gathering this year on the real meaning of Thanksgiving – the sharing of a traditional meal to give thanks and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives.
WHAT I AM THANKFUL FOR CARDS
Print out these thankful notecards for your guests to write what they are thankful for this year. No appetizers or glass of wine allowed until they do it! What to do with them? Decorate your fridge or walls with the messages, scatter them around the table or better yet – place one on each place setting and guests have to read the one on their place setting and guess who wrote it during dinner.
WALL OF THANKS
Buy a roll of craft paper or butcher block paper and use sticky tack to adhere it to an open wall space. Guests use erasable markers (keep your wall safe!) to write what they are thankful for this year. Take pictures of individual quotes as a memory to show your kids what they wrote when they were little. Have the older kids write down what the really little ones say they are thankful for. Have grandpa or grandma read them during dinner.
TAKE GRACE TO A NEW LEVEL
This is a tradition in Tracy’s family. Once seated, we gather around one table (usually the grandkids sit at a separate table) and we each take turns saying what we are thankful for this year. It usually involves some laughs and a few tears but makes Thanksgiving more personal and heartfelt. It does delay the serving of hot food – you can save this to do during dinner and even turn it into a drinking game when everyone toasts what each person says.
Print these inspiring quotes that we found on the internet, cut into individual pieces and place a quote on each place setting. Have each guest read out their quote during dinner. Download Quote 1. Download Quote 2. Download Quote 3.
DIY THANKFUL TABLECLOTH
A roll of craft paper, colorful markers and few helpers is all it takes to make your own tablecloth or placemats filled with words and phrases to remind your guests about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. An added bonus – no trip to the dry cleaner or laundering a huge tablecloth!
THANKFUL NAPKIN RINGS
We had so much fun designing our line of Thanksgiving Napkin Knots that express the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Small things like thematic napkin rings help to make your gathering more focused and your table more festive. We at Napkin Knots wish you and your family a delicious, festive and meaningful Thanksgiving this year!