What makes you grateful?

Tender, juicy roast turkey - the main attracti...

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Image via Wikipedia

Two-hundred forty-eight million turkeys.  Seven hundred fifty million pounds of cranberries. Two hundred sixty six point one million pounds of cherry tarts.  What do these large quantities of food have in common?  They are all traditional foods for the North American holiday Thanksgiving.  The quantities are forecasted production of each kind of food for the year 2011.  Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, when families share a large meal.  It is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.  Traditional dishes include turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkins, mashed potatoes, and pie.

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth"...

An artist imagines what the first Thanksgiving looked like 300 years before. Image via Wikipedia

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American ate 13.3 pounds of turkey in 2009, and 5.3 pounds of sweet potatoes.  But the holiday is not only about food.  Its origins come from North American festivals to celebrate a good harvest in the autumn.  The “first Thanksgiving” was a festival held in Plymouth Colony (in what would later be called Massachusetts) in 1621, although similar festivals were also celebrated in other places in North America in other years.  U.S. President Abraham Lincoln made the holiday official in 1863.  Thanksgiving is about the food, but more than that, it is about being grateful for the food, and other good things in life as well.

Gratitude is the feeling of appreciation for positive things.  Gratitude is the good feeling you get when you are happy about the things you have.  To be grateful or to be thankful is to express gratitude.  On Thanksgiving, it is traditional to think about the things we are thankful for.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is reflected in the Look for the Good Project.  An artist collects postcards from around the country that answer the questionWhat makes you grateful?”  The postcards are published on the website for everyone to read.

Look through the postcards.  Where are they from?  What are people thankful for?  Do you see any similarities between the cards?

Find this image and others like it at http://lookforthegoodproject.org

Which card is your favorite?  Who do you think wrote it?  Why do you like this card?

Find this image and others like it at http://lookforthegoodproject.org

Thanksgiving vocabulary:

gratitude
to be thankful / to be grateful
to give thanks
thanksgiving
November
traditions
family
turkey
cranberries
potatoes
squash
pie

Questions for Conversation:

Do you have a special day to give thanks?

Do you have a special day to celebrate (and eat) with family?

What makes you grateful?  Tell us in a comment.  Then write your answer on postcard and send it to the Look for the Good Project.  Check the website to see if it is posted online.

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5 Responses to What makes you grateful?

  1. Pingback: Giving of Thanks…Ephesians 5:4 | Jlue’s Weblog

  2. Pingback: Gratitude 96: My Family « Perpetual Gratitude: A Photographic Diary

  3. Pingback: Teaching Thanksgiving in an EFL class « Bilinguish

  4. Petra says:

    Nice article. As I´m not American I don´t celebrate Thanksgiving day but I think we should all appreciate more the things we have and be more grateful. Be grateful every day for what we have and appreciate it.

  5. I love the way you put this: “Thanksgiving is about the food, but more than that, it is about being grateful for the food, and other good things in life as well.” We forget too often what it’s really about.

    I’m actually hosting a Gratitude Roundup with USC School of Social Work next week and I’d really love to add your blog. Your reflection really represent the theme of our campaign. If you’re interested all you’d have to do is add our #my3thanks badge. Check out the campaign: http://bit.ly/1c6T7Dj

    Let me know if you’re interested. Thanks for spreading joy with your post. I’ll definitely check out the Look For The Good Project too!

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