When a family can create a tradition that even grandchildren ask for, you know you've got a keeper. Thus for 2020 Thanksgiving and Christmas, give CORN THANKS a try.
The genesis for CORN THANKS came from James Dobson with Focus on the Family, and for decades we've used it in our family celebrations, dinner with friends, or just common evening meals. Set the empty plates out and drop a piece of unpopped popcorn on each one. Then after everyone prays, each person picks up his or her piece of popcorn, drops it in a small dish or jar, and says what he or she is thankful for. After each thanks, the dish is passed, and the next person shares his or her gratitude. Of course, as a frugal Catholic, I reuse the dried corn kernels, but if concerned about cleanliness, release the kernels and add more to your Corn Thanks Jar. This process only takes a minute or two, but it promotes shared gratefulness, which is well needed during this time in all of our lives.
Of course, the concept of CORN THANKS for Thanksgiving reminds us of how the American Indians or Native Americans saved the Pilgrims who were starving to death. The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to plant and use corn just as our Heavenly Father provides so many blessings for each of us, and to give Him thanks is only right and just.
Now to provide you with quotes from three experts on CORN THANKS, I polled my little grand ones ages 9, 6, and 4 who have embraced this family tradition. Emma ( age 6) and Lilly (age 9) both said, "Because you get to say what you are thankful for." And the unique perspective of little Ellie (age 4) was, "I like homework." OK? I'm not sure how that applies, but it certainly sounds thankful.
So from the mouth of babes, for this 2020 Thanksgiving and Christmas, employ CORN THANKS before digging in. Your family will thank you.
Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author
The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.