Typical of modern blended families our family represents a wide variety of religious and spiritual beliefs. Giving thanks through prayer to a white haired male deity felt insensitive and not very inclusive of some of our family members.
So some years ago we decided to begin a new Thanksgiving Day tradition.
When the family has gathered around the table we begin by holding hands and taking a moment to give thanks to the spirit of the turkey for giving up its life so that we can share a Thanksgiving meal together.
Then we go around the table and each person, from the grandchildren to the grandparents, shares what they are most thankful for on this day.
Like all family traditions, it has become so much a part of our time together it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without our circle of sharing. Knowing that we are going to take time to say what we are thankful for, it encourages each of us to think ahead of time about what we are going to share.
Our sharing circle is sometimes a time of laughter, sometimes tears, but it is always a time for each of us to experience with thankfulness what it means to be a family.