A Simple Gratitude Practice to Bring to Your Thanksgiving Dinner Table

It’s sometimes easy to forget that Thanksgiving isn’t just about turkey and pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving is about reflecting on and appreciating all of the good things that we have in our lives.

Many people will sit around their Thanksgiving dinner table and share something that they feel grateful for, and this is a wonderful way to set the tone for a heartfelt gathering.

But instead of just sharing one thing that you’re grateful for, although you could do that…

Here’s a simple practice that will help you bring another dimension of gratitude to your Thanksgiving table

Everyone that gathers at your table brings something unique to it.

And so, instead of sharing something you’re grateful for, how about appreciating someone that you’re grateful for? While sitting at your table, I invite you to share with your guests, “Let’s share something we’re grateful for about the person to our left. I’ll start!”

Then, you initiate the first gratitude. Turn to the person on your left and share something that you appreciate about this person.

Even if this person is a stranger that someone else has brought, and this is the first time you’ve met them, think of something you appreciate about what little you know or have seen of them so far.

For example: they may have a nice smile, a warm demeanor or seem very willing to help out with setting the table, and you really appreciate that about them!

Once you’re finished, that person then turns to the person on their left to share a gratitude, and then so on and so on.

Some of what is shared will be deep and profound, some of it may be more superficial and funny, this is all ok!

The intention is to tune yourself to the frequency of gratitude and appreciation, and to speak that gratitude out loud.

Why is this important?

Research that was done at Pennsylvania State University on the difference between thinking gratitude and speaking gratitude.

Researchers found there’s a number of physical benefits that come out of speaking and living from gratitude, including improved blood pressure and immune system.

Now ideally, we want to live from and speak from gratitude on a regular, consistent basis – but Thanksgiving is a day when we can really practice speaking gratitude in a whole new way.

As each person moves around the table, sharing something they appreciate about the person on their left, before the circle is complete, everyone will have shifted into a vibration gratitude.

This will make for a more heartfelt and fulfilling gathering for all!

A great way to build heartfelt relationships: to speak gratitude. Find out how to overcome limitations and start speaking gratitude in your Thanksgiving table with Mary Morrissey

Years ago, my husband decided to speak some gratitude

My husband, Joe, grew up in a singing family. His entire family regularly sang together.

Joe later grew up to become a gifted professional singer, a career he loves with all of his heart and soul.

One year, on a particular holiday, Joe’s family was supposed to sing at the church they went to. The church was filled to the brim with 300 people.

As a little seven year old boy, Joe had never sung in public before. He was very, very nervous.

When the moment came that he and his family went on stage and were supposed to start singing, Joe opened his mouth, and no sound came out!

He was terrified and embarrassed, and thought about running off the stage to hide.

He looked into the audience, and sitting there near the front was a woman named Mrs. Bryant, the mother of his big brother’s friend.

Mrs. Bryant looked right into Joe’s eyes and just smiled this great big smile

Seeing this put Joe at ease. He was able to take a breath, and then, he could sing!

Many, many decades later, Joe found himself thinking about Mrs. Bryant.

He thought, “You know, if Mrs. Bryant hadn’t smiled at me that day when I was a child, I would have been so afraid, I wouldn’t have been able to sing. I would have been ashamed. I might never have given myself permission to become a singer and had the life that I’ve had.”

So my husband wrote Mrs. Bryant a thank you letter decades after that smile and said, “When I was a seven years old, you gave warmth and the confidence that I could take a breath and I could sing.”

Joe went on to tell her how much that moment had shaped his life, and said, “Thank you for my singing career.”

Years later, when Joe and I were standing together at his father’s funeral, Mrs. Bryant’s son approached us.

Joe said to him, “You know, I wrote your mother a letter about five years ago.”

Mrs. Bryant’s son said, “Not only did you write a letter to her, she kept it in her wallet. She read that letter many, many times herself and often, she would bring it out at meals and share that letter with all of us about the power of saying how grateful you are for someone.”

I know that hearing this made Joe feel good, and we know that it made Mrs. Bryant feel good, too.

Here’s the truth: You and I can express our gratitude

We can choose in any given moment not just to think grateful thoughts, but also to express those thoughts out loud to others. Download my FREE: Stronger Than Circumstances eBook and learn this simple gratitude practice and how to OVERCOME limitations and not just at Thanksgiving, but every day of our lives.


Now, here’s a question for you…

What’s one person in your life that you feel grateful for? Go ahead and share this with me in the comments below.

You don’t have to name the person – you can just say “my daughter,” or “my brother,” or “my husband” if you prefer.

But I invite you to share something that they bring into your life that you’re grateful for. I’d love to hear from you!

Mary Morrissey

Happy Thanksgiving Message from Mary Morrissey
Happy Thanksgiving Message from Mary Morrissey

The Spirit of Thanksgiving is a very pure thing. In this video, you will learn a wonderful opportunity to set the tone for heartfelt gathering and connect with the people you join over the Thanksgiving table and speak gratitude. Find out the difference between speaking gratitude and thinking gratitude.

Categories: Inspiration

Comments (32)

  • Richard Teare

    It is 2 years since Mary posted this, and only today have I seen it.
    I am grateful to my family every day.
    However, and most importantly at that time, to my then littlest grand-daughter Amelia who, just being 15 months old, helped me over a very difficult time – a new life to think about instead of one lost.

  • Mary,
    Thanks for your heartfelt Thanksgiving message!
    I’m truly thankful for my sister Pat. She’s my best friend, confidant and prayer partner.

  • Each of my Children (my greatest Teachers) for their Love & Emotional support

  • Barbie Ketchum

    My sisters, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. The whole wonderful family! and then all my precious friends, too.

  • Carlos Jorge da Gama Ferreira

    estou grato

  • adrienne mckinnie

    I am grateful for my family. They stood by me even doing my faults.

  • Margaret C. Pazant

    I am grateful for you sharing this message with us all. It is perfect.

    I appreciate you, Mary.
    Keep honoring your beautiful Spirit!

  • I feel Blessed to have been able to attend a Dreambuilder weekend and to have had the opportunity to have been introduced to her books years ago

  • Albertine Schoen

    Messages as yours should be send into the world more often as a seed for peace. Thank you.

  • Very inspiring, thanks Mary for this opportunity to reflect .

    I am very grateful for my only brother. The love we share and his cooperation since our parents passed on has a made big differnce in my life
    Thanks Mary

  • I am Grateful for Mary Morrissey. I attended a Dream builder weekend and have had many of her tapes and books

  • I am thankful for you Mary, you have encouraged me on many a morning. God’s blessings to you

  • I am grateful for my wonderful husband Richard – thanks for the wonderful life we share together:-)

  • I am thankful and grateful for family.
    I am grateful for family because there is no greater gift than love and my family truly loves me and I love them.

  • Debbie. Ballentine Graham

    Hello, Happy Wonderful, Thanksgiving to you and your family! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to comment. I am truly happy, lucky and grateful for my five children and three grandchildren. I am especially grateful for my daughter Isis. She put her ? into our meal today and a few months ago when I was going through a really tough time withdrawing off a prescribed drug, she had faith in me. She helped me come back to who I am now. I see life differently and every precious moment I breathe I now see Abundance and Blessings everywhere. Love, Light, Abundance, Blessings! :)

  • I give thanks for you, Mary, for your divinely heartfelt messages that you so compassionately continue to share.

  • Sylvia Piedra

    Thank you Mary for your message and for what you are doing in my life!!! I love your program and I’m looking forward in meeting you soon! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • I’m grateful for all the people in my life and the love and creation that they bribg.

  • Mary: This is so true. Thank you from the depths of my heart for your great insight into this idea,You are such a divine person and i have always wanted to meet you some day. You are one of my mentors for my business. I love you dearly.

  • I’m greatful for my husband who allow me to expand my exploration and choose my path in life. At times l am startling to make my choices
    I was very sure with having our 3 children at home and making clear decisions about their life and well being. I feel each of them is showing me the amazing task of being a mom is so worth while. I am choosing a life of movement as a yoga teacher. A life of reaching and learning about spirit and growth as I slowly find idea to create more workshops and gather more groups of people to learn to live to grow to inspire each other. I’m grateful for getting to hear your videos which remind me to stay open in my heart to keep an open mind for opportunities and flow to come in to our lives hope we will soon meet in person
    Thank you yael

  • Bob Zaslow

    Hi, Mary-

    Thank you for your beautiful “Speaking Gratitude” story. It reminded me that as a teacher I’ve had thousands of opportunities to show gratitude or positively acknowledge a young person. And I hope my comments or behavior helped inspire those students as they grew to young adulthood and beyond. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I am very grateful for my family and true friends.I thank God for the blessings that he gives to us every day of our lives..and my own brothers and sisters and the friends I shared growing up with,and our health,wealth and happiness,through Christ Jesus..Amen

  • Thank you my morning mentor.

  • My friend helped with the “back office” of the business with consistent organized efforts, at a time when it was growing and changing rapidly. She showed up at her appointed times and faced the challenges of this growing business with me.

    I appreciate her for steadiness and her calm “get it done attitude.” Her presence made it easier to serve clients faithfully and well.

  • I will forever be grateful for my late maternal auntie who encouraged and gave me strength to face many challenges throughout life. She was always there for me and was my biggest fan. My successes, whether big or small, were sweeter because Auntie was there cheering me on. Every child should have someone besides their parents who loves them unconditionally.

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