The Thankful Table

Every summer we have the pleasure of hosting relatives. We brace ourselves for the invasion of three small children but are always sad to see them leave.

We eat as many meals as possible outside (I let the chipmunks do the vacuuming!). The first summer visit I tried the thankfuls. We all joined hands and one at a time we expressed one thing for which we were thankful.  At the first meal there were some shy mumbles.  Good experiment I thought, but I won’t try that again.  Well, that evening as we sat for another outdoor meal, the oldest child piped up with “Can I go first?”.  He had his thankful ready and the others followed.

Several years later the thankfuls are a regular part of our meals.  This past Canada Day weekend as we sat outside for our first meal together the little hands automatically reached out to their seat mates.  We now have to rotate who starts the thankfuls.

I am struck every year by the simplicity of the thankfuls. Even the adults are expressing gratitude for a sunny day, time with family, sharing food, getting to know each other better, laughter.  No mention of flashy cars or designer clothes – just the important things in life.

What would you mention at my thankful table?

About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
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8 Responses to The Thankful Table

  1. karenhickman says:

    What a lovely tradition, Suzanne. The simplest things in life do seem to be the best, don’t they? Family, friends and special times with them are the things that sustain me and give me comfort and joy.

    • So true, Karen.
      Had to laugh this time when the youngest had to be limited to one or two thankfuls – he kept going with his list!
      It does make us stop and realize what is truly important.

  2. CareySue says:

    LOVE this idea! What great memories. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Angela Sim says:


    I think we should start doing this at book club! Wonderful idea!

    And I’m thankful for the health of my family…


  4. Linda says:

    Give thanks for life.
    Don’t sweat the small stuff.

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