My cousin's wife hosted our Thanksgiving feast this year
and she wanted to make it extra special.
She asked me to come up with "something" of sorts
to prompt every guest to share something they were thankful for this year.
I spent weeks racking my brain about how to do it in a non-corny way.
I wanted to avoid just asking people to share what they were thankful for.
I mean... aren't we all grateful for families, children, shelter, and food?
I wanted people to think a little deeper and be a little vulnerable,
maybe even share something they usually wouldn't.
Thank God for Pinterest!
On Jennifer's blog, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam,
I found the recipe and directions for gratitude rolls.
Gratitude rolls can easily be compared to fortune cookies.
When you bake these little guys you include a little piece of paper rolled inside them.
Jennifer's version had guests writing something down as they arrived
to be later rolled in the bread dough, baked, and served.
Her guests would go around reading each other's sharing.
I tweaked it a little bit to suit our needs.
My version included questions which we would answer out loud at the table.
in order to allow me to prepare them ahead of time and freeze before traveling.
The questions I included were:
--in Spanish, of course--
What is one thing you are grateful for this year?
Who is someone you are grateful for this year?
What accomplishment are you thankful for this year?
What is an event you are grateful for this year?
What lesson are you thankful you learned this year?
As you can see they didn't turn out perfect... some burnt a bit
and they weren't as fluffy as I would have liked for them to be,
but the activity was simply ideal for our group.
I am not lying when I tell you that every one at the table shared something.
Well, except a shy 9-year-old.
No body tried to get away with lamely saying "you know, just for my whole life."
Answers ranged from:
"the opportunity to keep going to school" to "my wife's loyalty."
Someone ate two rolls and decided to answer two questions. It was sweet.
There was some heartfelt stuff said.
Even some tears were shed.
I really don't think there could have been a nicer interactive way
to reflect on the spirit of the holiday.
I think I found a tradition I want to keep alive for many years to come.