This Thanksgiving, add more meaning to your meal

Categories: Editorial

Along with the turkey, try a new tradition when the clan gathers for the holiday feast

Nov. 22, 2013, edition
By Bob Zyskowski

Does what happens around our family’s Thanksgiving dinner table happen at yours, too?

Before anyone digs into the bird and the stuffing, the sweet potatoes and the green bean casserole, we’ll pray grace, of course.

thankseditorialOften we go around the table and give everybody the opportunity to say one thing that they’re grateful for.

Before half-way ‘round tears are usually welling.

We nod in affirmation when one of the family strikes a note that harmonizes with our own life’s song.

We are amazed in how honestly some of the clan share innermost pieces of themselves, how eloquently others express their gratitude, and how much that lump in the throat grows when someone names you or something you’ve done as they thing they are most grateful for.

Emotions ease — thank you, Lord! — when someone says something funny; it lets everyone laugh aloud and gives us a chance to wipe the water from our eyes, swallow hard and push our hearts back down our throats.

I highly recommend this approach — for me it puts meaning into Thanksgiving.

But you might want try something like the following, too.

Try something new

Invite stories.

Ask questions.

If Thanksgiving is one of those all-too-rare times when your extended family is together, don’t waste the opportunity to draw on — maybe draw out — the memories of those you love.

Don’t miss the chance to learn the dreams of those who mean the most to you.

Don’t pass up hearing about moral dilemmas, challenges faced, mistakes made, lessons learned.

Ask questions such as these:

• Who were you named after?

• Who was your best teacher, and why was he or she the best?

• What was the job you held that gave you the most satisfaction?

• What has been the most important event that has happened during your lifetime?

• How did you fall in love?

• When were you really proud of someone in our family?

Don’t forget these

And of course ask the God questions:

• Why is religion so important to you?

• Why do you go to church?

• How do you pray best?

• Why do you pray?

• Have you ever felt holy?

• Have you ever felt God touch you?

A blessed Thanksgiving to all.