November 22nd, 2010 by Dionna | 8 Comments
Posted in Eclectic Learning, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting

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Mormon Family Dinner
I’ve been searching for a new family tradition1 to start for Thanksgiving. One idea that I’ve considered – for either Thanksgiving or as a regular nightly (weekly?) tradition – is a “gratitude circle.”

The idea of a gratitude circle is to take time each night during dinner (or before bed, or whenever) to go around the table and share things that have happened that we are grateful for.

What people have we shared laughter with that day?

Has anyone helped us do a difficult task?

Did we see anything beautiful, memorable, or moving?

And us – did we perform some kindness for another? How did it make us feel?

I love the idea of dispelling negative energy by focusing on the positive. Especially when we’ve had a hard day – it’s important to center ourselves and find something to smile about.

What Thanksgiving traditions does your family have?

Photo Credit: More Good Foundation

  1. Do you have any great family traditions? Share them with us in the December Carnival of Natural Parenting. The topic next month is family traditions, read more tomorrow when I post the Call for Submissions!

8 Responses to:

  1. Violetsouffle   Rainbowsouffle

    My very non religious partner& his mother& little sister have had this tradition since we got together (and the only time they do it is at holidays.)
    The thing is, I dislike it immensely. I’m not completely sure why but mostly because it *feels* like they were searching for something to take the place of family prayer& fell on this. I grew up with family dinner blessings& ao it makes me feel much like those did-forced gratitude.
    The other reason I dislike it is because for us at least, it seems an feels very rehearsed, showy even, and everyone is always saying they are grateful for the other people at the table and things tht they did for one another& I’m a ‘love me quietly ‘ kind of person so it feels fake. I probably am making no sense and I’m not trying to dissuade your tradition, just share why I think it fails for me. I think I would be happier if in our family we took the time to be grateful& tell one another so- as we feel it in the moment rather than as a requisite to eating our food.

  2. kelly @kellynaturally   kellynaturally

    We do this every evening that we have family dinner together – hold hands & each say one thing for which we’re thankful. It’s a nice way to make a connection, to slow everyone down a bit, and to look outside ourselves. It definitely helps turn negative to positive – especially after a long day.

  3. MomAgain@40   karentoittoit

    I have been thinking along the same lines… Nothing that gets you more focused on the positive than this. It can take the place of a “prayer” when you re not religious.

  4. Stephanie

    This year my husband and my two year olds have created a book called, ‘Thankful.’ We have a page for each person in our family. It goes kind of like this, “Daddy is thankful for us – his family; Bean is thankful for hot dogs…” and we read it each day. I’ve heard of families having a “thankful tree” where the leaves are added as family members think of something they’re thankful for, then the next year (in early Nov.) they read what was on the tree before taking the leaves down and adding ones from new years.

    I like people’s comments on how they make this a daily practice. I do so hope to begin the process of ThanksLiving.

  5. Melodie   bfmom

    This is what we try to do every night at dinner instead of the traditional saying grace. The kids love it.

  6. Janine   AltHousewife

    When I was younger, our family would go around sharing the “best part of our day” at dinner each evening. I remember enjoying it a lot, and may instate it for my own family once my son can talk!

  7. Shannon

    We do a similar circle – most nights – at our table. We have a thanksgiving candle that we keep on the table year round. Lighting a candle at the table, even in summer when it’s full light, always feels special and it is a reminder to give thanks. Sometimes they are long, sometimes short and sweet. I love it when our 2 1/2 yr old reminds us to light the candle and give thanks if we have forgotten

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