Our Thanksgiving Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I love, love, love the holidays. Growing up, we always cooked a huge meal on Thanksgiving and ate lunch around 2 p.m. Then we would all sit around and talk about how full we were, and how we couldn’t possibly eat any more food. Then a few hours later, we were all making a plate full of seconds. Haha.

My Nana, my grandmother on my mom’s side, made up a family tradition many Thanksgivings ago. When she came up with it I thought, “What a great idea!” Read on to find out what it is:

Nana had us all sit down before we had lunch one Thanksgiving about seven years ago. She said “before we pray, I would like to ask everyone to do something, and I hope it will become a tradition that we can continue every year. Let’s all say the one thing we are most thankful for.”

Obviously, everyone knows that Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on your blessings and think of all the things you are thankful for, but I don’t know how often people actually say it out loud.

Hearing each person in my family vocalize their feelings of gratitude was so neat. I have a great Uncle named Brian, he is Nana’s brother. He is in his 60’s and has been brain-damaged his entire life. He was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and therefore had a lack of oxygen to his brain after birth. He is one of the most precious people I have ever known and has the kindest heart and sweetest spirit.

He doesn’t usually talk in large groups but he was so excited to share what he was thankful for that year. He said “I’m most thankful for my dad.” I felt so blessed to be able to witness him saying out loud that he was grateful for his father. I don’t think any of us had ever heard him say something like that.

From that point on, the tradition began. Now, every year, we go around in a circle and say what we are most thankful for from the past year. It never fails that someone says something that gets everyone teary-eyed. It breaks down walls and makes us all a bit more vulnerable in front of each other. Sharing moments like that really makes me feel closer to the ones I love. And I can’t wait until next year when KJ will be 3; he might just be able to tell us what he is thankful for. :)

I pray each of you has a fantastic Thanksgiving, filled with love and laughter and tons of food! I know I have.

-A Thankful Mommy

P.S. In case you were wondering: What I am most thankful for this year is that we now live so close to our family. KJ is having a blast growing up with his one-year-old cousin Phoenix. Here is a picture of them from today. Sweet lil’ thangs.

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