Gather at the table, then gather at the hot tub
I’m sure that many of you out there have plans to get together with family and friends and EAT. I know plenty of others out there (this would not be me!) plan to hover around a big screen TV and watch football. For hours. And hours.
Plenty of people out there have traditions for every holiday, Thanksgiving included. It seems that, as the name implies, it’s also a time to reflect on the things and people in our lives for which we are grateful. It’s so easy to think about all the things we wish were different or things that aren’t all that positive in life. I’m not sure why we do that as humans, but it seems our default to focus on is glass-half-empty. It’s one of the reasons why I think reflecting and sharing with others in your life about the things that you are grateful for is especially important. Truly, it’s a shame this is about the only time of the year a holiday forces us to go through the exercise.
If you have a hot tub, this is a wonderful thing to do after you’ve gorged yourself on all that turkey, stuffing–it’s called that for a reason!—sweet potatoes, green been casseroles, mashed potatoes and gravy… (Yikes! This is making me hungry!)
Give everyone a notecard about a half hour before you sit down to dinner. Ask them to think about a few things they are thankful for this year, and list each one, starting out with “I am grateful for…” When they’ve finished writing down their thoughts, have them seal them in an envelope, write their name on it, and collect them in a basket.
After you’ve eaten to your heart’s content, bring the “basket of thanksgiving” outside and encourage the clan to take a soak in the tub about an hour or so after dinner. It will aid your body’s digestion, and you might even get rid of a few of those calories you just gobbled down.
More importantly, it will give you a place to sit together and share what you give thanks for this year. Distribute the envelopes to someone other than the person who wrote it! It will give you a chance to read aloud someone else’s gratitude list. You’ll have a wonderful bonding experience with those special in your life. Just reading another’s list might make you feel even more grateful for them.
If you live in the Northwest, it appears we’re going to have a chilly Thanksgiving this year. In Seattle, the high for the day is slated to be just 39 degrees! A soak in some hot bubbly water and sharing thoughts of gratitude will be just the thing to warm you up—head to toe and heart.