Each November, as people look ahead to Thanksgiving Day, their minds are filled with all the wonderful things they associate with the holiday: Getting the day off from work. Gathering with family and friends. Watching football on TV. And, of course, stuffing yourself silly with all that delectable food.
But did you ever stop to think about why the holiday is called Thanksgiving Day?
What’s in a Name?
On Nov. 1, 1777, Congress passed a law that officially set aside the third Thursday of every year “for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice, good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts.”
Of course these days, there’s very little actual thanksgiving going on at Thanksgiving. It’s usually more about the gathering and the grub than about the gratitude. (Some people even call it Turkey Day, completely removing Congress’s original intent from the name.)
And while we should certainly be grateful for all the wonderful things we get to enjoy on Thanksgiving, we may be missing a chance to remind ourselves of all the precious gifts life has given us the whole rest of the year.
Some of those gifts may be sitting right across the table from you. They may even be sitting right next to you.
Break the Routine
For many people, Thanksgiving has developed into a kind of routine: You buy the food, you invite the guests, you watch the games, you cook, you eat, then everyone goes home.
What if this year, you decided to do something a little different? What if this year, you broke the routine? Or maybe decided to start a new tradition?
Imagine everyone sitting around your table, a feast laid out before you. As people start digging in, like they do every year, you announce a slight change in the proceedings. You tell your assembled guests that this year, you’re going to go around the table and instead of simply talking about WHAT they are grateful for, they will be invited to talk about WHO they are grateful for and WHY.
Maybe it’s even something as simple as the friends and family that are still a part of their lives after all this time, or the ability to laugh again after a tough year when laughing seemed like the last thing you wanted to do.
Create a New Thanksgiving Gratitude Ritual
At your dinner table, get everyone’s attention and invite them to express their Thanksgiving gratitude to one another. Just select one person at a time and then let the group lavish them with appreciation, gratitude and love. You can use these prompts to get the words flowing:
- Here's why I'm grateful for you this year
- Here's how you impressed me this year
- Here's how I've seen you grow this year
Imagine how different your Thanksgiving will feel after all these expressions of gratitude, how much it will stand out in everyone’s memory from all the other Thanksgivings that came before it.
While all gratitude is nice, it is the gratitude that we express for people that strengthens our relationships and brings us closer with family and friends… so let it rip!
Instead of going home with their bellies full, they will go home with their hearts full.
And those feelings and thoughts just might stay with them well past Thanksgiving.
When You Give, You Get – The Hard Science of Gratitude
A wonderful side effect of being openly grateful is that according to science, it can actually improve your health, physically and emotionally.
Research from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and others have shown that expressing gratitude can:
- Heighten our immune system by increasing our white blood cell counts to fight disease
- Decrease stress hormones like cortisol by up to 23%
- Decrease blood pressure and heart rate variability
In other words, being grateful can give you even more to be grateful for!
Share It with Tribute
Sharing the gift of gratitude with the people at your Thanksgiving table will make the holiday more meaningful and memorable. But it doesn’t have to end there. With a Tribute video, you can expand the circle of gratitude to include as many other people as you’d like, no matter where they are.
Sometimes, for various reasons, people who are close to us emotionally can’t be close to us physically. But whether they’re in another part of the same town or city, or on the other side of the country, or even in another part of the world, video lets you all be part of the same conversation, as if you were all sitting at one giant Thanksgiving table.
In other words, you can eat locally while giving thanks globally.
Tribute is the perfect way to make that happen.
Here’s How to Get Started
Tribute is the most user-friendly video montage maker for special occasions. More than 5,000,000 people have shared videos on Tribute. In a few simple steps, you can invite others, collect their videos, and compile them with our easy video editor. Another option is to have our concierge service professionally edit your video for you!
- Invite friends.
We send the invitations with all the information your friends and family need to participate.
- Collect videos.
We provide the prompt for your participants to make a video and upload it.
- Compile the video.
We make it easy for you to drag and drop the collected videos into any order you like and then share the final Tribute video.
- Get premium service (optional).
Let one of our concierge editors manage the project and compile your final Tribute video.