How to Give
Uncheesy Thanks

A way to get real without drama

By Meredith Arthur

Asking people to go around the table and say what they’re thankful for at Thanksgiving sometimes feels cheesy because it’s forced. People are usually too sober as the dinner begins, and when they’re suddenly shoved onto center stage, they’re unable to talk about things that are meaningful to them without becoming embarrassed.

One nice thing to do is get a small moleskin journal (like one of these) and have people write what they’re thankful for, or suggest another topic for your guests to dedicate 25 to 50 words to. For example, “One person I wish were here with me” or “A food I once had and really loved at Thanksgiving.” It allows for a moment of contemplation without having to perform, and personal feelings can be shared quietly, by allowing everybody to read the entries. You can have guests sign the book as they await dinner, which may spark conversation, or you can have them fill it in afterward when everyone’s full and just sitting around.

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