Most of us are masters at planning, delegating and executing the food plan, but rarely are we intentional about creating an environment where the Thanksgiving spirit can be shared freely with those we love the most. Before the big day call a quick family meeting and discuss what would make this the best Thanksgiving ever. Now, I’m not talking about the menu. Agree that in the middle of all the hoopla nothing will keep you from having the Best Uncommon Thanksgiving ever.
Start the day with a little popcorn
At our house we gather around the serving table, lock hands, and the person who is the designated “popcorn prayer” starter offers the opening prayer. Then we “pop” around the circle offering our individual prayers, and I’ll usually close with a blessing of the meal.
This year, try using the popcorn prayer as a way to start your Thanksgiving feast. This can be one of the most meaningful moments of the day, with everyone having the opportunity to offer a short prayer, a word of gratitude, a name of a loved one no longer at the table, etc. This spontaneous circle of grace allows everyone to feel comfortable verbalizing what’s on their heart and mind.
Use the 70/30 rule
Think back over your previous Thanksgivings. Almost without exception we have large amounts of food left over. Don’t get me wrong; I like Thanksgiving leftovers as much as anyone. The point here is to give serious thought to how much do we really need on this day. Can we feast on 70% and use the remaining 30% to help others? It might be as simple as sharing your abundance with a neighbor or someone in need; or reducing your Thanksgiving shopping list by 30% to yield a donation for your favorite holiday cause; or simply encouraging your guests to reduce that special menu item they’re bringing by 30%, to help them create a margin of greater giving in their life.
Ask these two questions
If you really want to have the Best Uncommon Thanksgiving Ever, ask these two questions as you spend the day talking and visiting with family and friends:
What has been the high point of your year?
What has been the low point of your year?
Chances are, you’ll probably learn something you didn’t know about that person and what has impacted them this year, good or bad. These two questions can create meaningful dialogue resulting in stronger family and friendship bonds.
I’m sure you remember it. (Yeah, right). Before all the pie is gone and the dishes are washed, Christmas will be knocking on your door. The best way to end Thanksgiving is knowing you have a plan for Christmas already in place.
That’s it. I guarantee that if you follow those five practices, you’ll have the Best Uncommon Thanksgiving Ever! Let me know how it goes.
Happy Uncommon Thanksgiving!