This week I’d like to share with you a family tradition that our family uses at our Thanksgiving table. This one special ritual has move so many I cannot count them anymore. I’d like to take a moment and describe what we have done for more than 30 years.
Our family is very diverse. We come from different countries and we speak several languages. In my mind, I believe that Thanksgiving really symbolizes what America is all about and how we each have linage which has immigrated to this beautiful country and we all need to stop and give thanks. As is the case at all of our Thanksgiving tables we are surrounded by our immediate family, friends and family, but also those who do not know much about this tradition of Thanksgiving and haven’t got a clue as to how to go about cooking a Turkey or making a pumpkin pie. They sit and marvel at the enormity of the bird and the wonderful aroma coming from the delicious bounty in front of them.
As they are all seated, my spouse always motions for everyone to look to my end of the table. I direct their attention to the small gold clip attached to their plate with a small candle in it. I pick up my lighter and I light my candle and I explain this ritual we have had in our family. We light our candles and name the things that we are “Thankful” for this year. Your thanks can be for a person, an outcome, or anything that you would like to give thanks for.
Now, I am very deliberate about who sits where at the table. I always begin this tradition and I set those who know this tradition to might right and they already know what to do and indeed they have already thought of what they are going to say. I put those guests who have never experienced this tradition to my left who will be the last ones to speak. That way as they see each person light their candle they can have lots of time to think about what they might say in thanks.
At the end when everyone has their candle lit we sometimes say a prayer or sometimes we all say “Amen” and we blow out our candles.
This simple tradition has touched many lives. I have received so many cards, letters and emails about how special this little tradition pulls at the heart strings of those around our table.
May your table be bountiful, your blessing overflow and glow you see in the faces at your table be memorable. Happy Thanksgiving!
If you are wondering where to get these clips, Google “candle clips”. There are a variety of places to purchase them. They come in gold and silver. The candles are simple German Christmas candles and are readily available around Thanksgiving and Christmas from many retail stores. They come in Red, Green and White. I would suggest that you use a a matchless lighter such as an aim ‘n flame.