This is in response to Opinion Saturday over at Owlhaven. I’ll definitely have to write more about traditions later.
The short version: read this article by Orson Scott Card. The idea is to take some time on Thanksgiving to write a letter expressing gratitude, not just a general “thanks for everything!” but specific things, events, people, reasons. Ah, the magic of detail.
My grandparents came to visit us recently. In anticipation, I finished the last bits on their album that I’ve been working on for most of this year. (Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of the rest of the pages, like a dork. Bah!) Part of the finishing was writing a letter for each of them to take out and read. I have in the past written a poem for them, particularly for my grandma, which meant a lot to her. (And, unexpectedly, I got some video of her reading it aloud. Wonderful.)
Even just the writing of it was so meaningful. It really made me stop and consider, and appreciate. My grandparents have been a steady presence, incredibly precious, in my life — I’ve always known that — but now I can say a little better why, and how.
This Thanksgiving I want our family to write a similar letter, together, giving thanks. For and to family, friends, and a loving Father in heaven.