“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
As we prepare to gather around our tables this Thanksgiving, I find myself reflecting on the powerful connection between gratitude and learning. Throughout my life, I've seen how a spirit of gratitude:
+ Increases positivity, which creates a heart ready to learn.
+ Strengthens relationships, which allows you to learn from and collaborate with others.
+ And serves as a motivator to view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
I love the traditions of the Thanksgiving season that allow us to pause and recognize the importance and impact of gratitude. Like many families, ours always takes a moment to share what we are grateful for during Thanksgiving dinner, but I wanted to share a few additional ideas to deepen your reflection and conversation around the table this year:
Instead of quickly sharing one thing you are grateful for, answer all three of the following questions, “What is something you learned in the last year?” “Why are you grateful for what you learned?” “What will you do differently in the future because of what you learned?”
While the turkey cooks, create a visual timeline on a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard. Ask each family member to contribute a significant event or moment from the past year. Discussing these moments collectively can lead to reflections on shared experiences and memories.
Invite family members to bring photos on their phones or printed copies of memorable moments from the past year. As they share the photos, encourage them to express why each moment is meaningful and what they are grateful for in that particular instance.
Set up a small tree centerpiece and provide paper leaves and markers. Ask each family member to write down something they are grateful for on a leaf and hang it on the tree. As the dinner progresses, the tree will become a visual representation of collective gratitude that can be admired and discussed.
Place printed readings from Seth Godin’s Thanksgiving Reader at each place setting. Take turns having each person read their passage aloud. The readings touch on themes of gratitude, nature, community and possibility. Discuss your reactions to the readings and what you feel grateful for after hearing the different perspectives.
In the spirit of gratitude from the Desklight Team...
We wanted to thank YOU for your friendship, impact, and support throughout the years. We recognize and appreciate the people and experiences that have allowed our team to continuously grow, learn, and improve. And we hope your Thanksgiving is filled with warmth, reflection, and meaningful conversations.