The Holidays can be a less than easy time for us all – getting together with family doesn’t always equal “peace and goodwill to all.” I have a quick and easy way you can nurture and improve relationships this Thanksgiving and all throughout the year. It’s called the “Thanks Game.” (don’t worry it’s not that kind of game. I don’t like games either.)
Setting up the “Thanks Game”
- Set the dinner table. Each person needs a place setting even if you have to use your kitchen counter top, a card table, a random ottoman, and a discarded coffee table.
- Compile the list of guests who will attend Thanksgiving dinner.
- On individual slips of paper or small cards, write one name on each slip of paper until every person has a card with their name on it.
- Place the card under each place setting. Don’t look at the names if you can help it (no cheating!).
Playing the “Thanks Game”
- When everyone has taken their place at the table, tell them to look under their dinner plate and find a person’s name on the card. It’s very important that they NOT LET ANYONE ELSE SEE THEIR CARD! Do not share the identity on the card with anyone else.
- During dinner, they are to think of 3 things they appreciate or are thankful for about the person on their card. (Okay, if 3 is too hard or you have a gazillion guests, then just have them think of 1 thing.)
- At a time you designate as special, maybe at the close of the meal or during dessert or coffee time, everyone gets to share the 3 ways they are thankful for the person on their card. (hint: you may want to set out an extra box of tissues)
The years I have played the “Thanks Game” on Thanksgiving have by far been the most memorable and dearest to my heart. Try it, you just may find yourself (more than pleasantly) surprised, not to mention encouraged and loved.
*photo taken with my firstborn during autumn of 2006 on a family hike at Grandfather Mountain, NC.