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Fostering Thanksgiving Conversations

I love a good dinner table conversation and this year for Thanksgiving, I want to steer the banter to what we’ve been given, not what we have lost. I want us to talk about common ground instead of differences, and hold each other’s stories as if they are precious and not easily dismissed. Story telling is an important part of building a family culture, and to foster family reflection, I place a conversation card at every table setting.

Someone needs to volunteer to start, and they pick someone to ask the question that’s in front of them. After that person answers, the asker is welcome to answer it as well. Usually there’s commentary offered by other guests, and the conversation is off and running.  Then the person who was asked picks up their card and chooses someone new, and the pattern is repeated until everyone has been in the hot seat.

In the end, the table is conversant, every family member is included, and the topics covered are uplifting and not divisive. There is a lot of effort put into making the meal on this special holiday, but they’ll remember the conversation long after they’ve forgotten what we ate.  Here is a downloadable pdf with the cards I will be using this year at my table.  Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is the currency of connection.”  May your table be a place of rich relationship this season.

Click here to download your Thanksgiving Conversation Cards!

Questions:

  1. What is a small thing you are grateful for this year?
  2. What is one hard thing you had to do this year?
  3. Who is someone you met this year and how have they impacted your life?
  4. What makes you smile about the person sitting to your right?
  5. Who has been generous with you this year?
  6. When was a time this year you laughed?
  7. What are you looking forward to in the Christmas season?
  8. What is something you are interested in learning more about?
  9. What does your bedroom tell us about you?
  10. Who was your favorite teacher or class this year?
  11. What do you wish you had more time for?
  12. What is one thing you can’t live without?

 

Here's an example of the Thanksgiving Conversation Cards! 

 



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Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico where they lived for 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised eleven children.


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