One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving is the one I spent my senior year of college.  A group of us had exactly no money to fly back home for the holiday, but two of us had apartments in the same complex so we decided to put together our own celebration. We divided up who would make the staple items such as turkey and pumpkin pie and then everyone needed to bring a signature dish that is part of their family tradition.  So along with all the fixins we had pecan pie and gnocchi and I can’t remember all of it.  There were several versions of pumpkin pie which was fun to taste test and we had to set up tables in the kitchen, dining room, and living room just to accommodate all the food let alone us.  🙂

This also led to one of the funnier moments I’ve ever had with my mom.  I agreed to cook the turkey at my place and then bring it over so the other kitchen could be baking pies and making everything else.  That morning I woke up to realize that not only did I have no freakin idea how to cook a turkey or even unwrap one, but I hardly knew how to cook and so had no clue how to get started.  So here I am at 8am my time, my mom is two hours behind me and I’m calling her to ask what do I do with a 25lb turkey which is sitting in my sink.  It’s one of the few times I heard my mom really laugh.  She gave me instructions and the turkey came out beautifully.

Recently a client reminded me of this as they were talking about their favorite Thanksgiving.  Instead of holding it for family, they invited 10 people who had done things that year that really impacted their life.  10 people to be specifically grateful for.  The invite stated that each of those people could bring a plus 1 but it needed to be someone who they were grateful for in the same way.  So at Thanksgiving there were over 20 people at the table who were all connected in the present moment through gratitude and who got to speak their gratitude out loud in community.

This holiday, don’t just go through the motions.  Yes, be grateful for the food and the cook or they might bean in the head with the skillet, but also think about who you are grateful for in your life and why.  Then say that to them out loud so they know.