Placing your heart and gratitude back on the Thanksgiving table

Many of us grew up sharing Thanksgiving with family around the dining room table. Our parents or grandparents usually hosted the meal, and we became re-acquainted with family that we might not have seen since the Thanksgiving before.

Times have changed and family members may have moved due to work changes, health matters, or raising their family.


Going back home may no longer be possible but sharing the holiday by taking time to be grateful for your family, friends, and numerous other blessings is so important.

Gratitude is often taken for granted but without it, life becomes shallow, bitter, and self-centered. Gratitude helps promote forgiveness, mercy, and understanding.

Instead of talking about politics, the pandemic, or vaccines, let’s talk about our blessings and what we’re grateful for. Instead of concerns about what you’re bringing for dinner, let’s focus on saying thank you and how to tell our friends and family how much they mean to you.


I have suggestions about how you can bring your heart and gratitude to the Thanksgiving table that you’re sharing with others.

  1. If you are hosting Thanksgiving, have place cards with each person's name and what that person does that makes you feel grateful.
  2. If you dine at a restaurant, leave your waiter/waitress a handwritten note of thanks and a thankful tip.
  3. If you have children, encourage them to write a blessing or something they are grateful for and read it at the Thanksgiving table.
  4. Begin a habit of leaving love notes for your spouse (and/or children) telling them how much you appreciate them for small things such as cleaning the kitchen or taking out the trash. Gratitude leads to more inspired behavior.
  5. With your children, spouse, or friends, go outside and collect works of nature to put on the Thanksgiving table. Being grateful for Mother Nature's gifts instills within each of us a thankfulness for our earth. Things such as leaves, acorns, and feathers add an element of rustic beauty to any feast.

Thanksgiving Travel: Pack your patience and gratitude

Traveling is stressful, especially during the holiday season, so psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini shares some travel tips to help minimize stress and maintain self-control.

Showing gratitude makes us better people and raises awareness of how many people contribute to our life. The more you express your gratitude and appreciation, the more your life will begin reflecting the importance of those around you.

This year bring your green bean casserole and your home-made bread, but mostly bring your heart and gratitude to your Thanksgiving meal.