Have you ever tried to stir up some “what we are thankful for” discussion at Thanksgiving dinner, only to be met with blank faces? Or the spouting of obligatory mini-lists such as: “I’m thankful for my spouse. And my children.” Which are not bad things to express thankfulness for – especially if the spouse and children are present – but it doesn’t inspire further conversational contributions. If you’re looking for friends and family to go a little deeper – to evoke a memory of person or place each is grateful for – lose the generic (and somewhat tired) request. To get the gratitude flowing along with the feast, get specific. You can toss out topics or pass around a bowl containing slips of paper with topics for dinner attendees to draw from. Here are 15 questions to help put the “thanks” into your Thanksgiving dinner conversation.
It may seem like the word “favorite” could be substituted for some of the “thankfuls” and “gratefuls” – but that might be a different discussion. For instance, my favorite teacher – the one who made class so enjoyable – is not the teacher I’m most grateful for. While I certainly appreciated the fun teacher, the one I have gratitude for is the one that saw something in me and required me to improve and grow. Asking specific questions can generate meaningful conversation that puts a spotlight on the “thanks” in Thanksgiving.
For more Thanksgiving Table Talk ideas, click HERE.
I tried this before and it was a great success. This year I have a lot more people and so I searched around and came upon this site . I now will have more great questions than I need!!
Excellent! Hope you and your family and guests have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Cathy!
Exellent questions! 🙂
Thanks! Let me know if your dinner mates enjoy them! 🙂
Excellent suggestions, Shel. Last Thanksgiving when all the young cousins were together (ages 8-13) Jim started a Thanks For… game as we were fixing the dessert: The first child turned to the one on her right and said “I’m thankful for you because…” and then that person did the same for the next person, and so on. We were amazed at how thoughtful and real their answers were. Happy Thanksgiving!
Yay, Jim! What a lovely way to lift each other up and get everybody focused on what the celebration is really about! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
Great ideas to spark conversation, Shel. I’ve missed your suggestions.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Thanks, Jill! Yes, I’ve been off the grid for a bit – hoping to get back in the groove in the near future! Hope you and yours have a wonderfully blessed holiday!
Great ideas! Life can be too busy and we don’t take time to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for! I plan to try these out and get away from the routine answers! Thanks so much!
You’re so welcome, Debbie! Hope you and your family have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!
These are great ideas. After having this conversation with you this week, there are some of these questions I’m not sure I can put in the jar. Read a book? Duh. Life-lesson, like what is that supposed to mean? But, it could be fun to hear the responses.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for people like you in my life!
Thanks, Debbie – the feeling is definitely mutual! Hope your holiday is especially blessed! btw – I happen to know for a fact that you’ve had more than a life-lesson or two that would be fascinating to hear about!!