The Thanksgiving Game

November 18, 2017

As far back as I can remember,  we have played what I call “The Thanksgiving Game” on Thanksgiving Day. When our children were young, they joined in with excitement and enthusiasm. As they reached their teenage years, when I mentioned “The Game,”  my husband and I were more likely to hear groans and see eye-rolls.  But we played and finished the game, even though I might have had to take extra turns.

Here’s how it works:  Usually around the dinner table, we start with the letter “A.” The person to start the game, states one thing they are thankful for that begins with the letter “A.” The 2nd person states what they are thankful for that begins with the letter “B.” And so on.

There were years when we knew how the game would go:  Apple, Balls, Cats, Dogs….

There were years, especially as our son grew, that there were super weird things added to the list. So strange I can’t recall them. Our son – the comedian, being feisty and funny.

Next week, we will be hosting our entire immediate family at our house. Our son’s family of 4, our daughter’s family of 4, and my father- and mother-in-law.  Add Rick and I, that’s 12 people. With 26 letters in the alphabet, each person only gets to share 2.6 things they are thankful for. 

Here are mine:

  1. Did you read my previous blog post A Family Crisis and a Happy Ending?  I am happy and very thankful to give you a follow-up on this. Brian has been clean and sober since that fateful June 2016 day. He is off all prescribed medications and has been given a clean bill of mental health.  He is not bipolar, as he was diagnosed.  The drugs and alcohol were imitating bipolar symptoms, which caused the diagnosis. He and Melissa have handled the crisis with courage, faith, determination, and success.
  2. Something I did not share with you is that our now 16-year-old grandson, Tyler (our daughter’s son) also was struggling with drug problems at the same time Brian was.  I am thankful to report that Tyler has conquered those problems and has been clean and sober since January 2nd of this year! He is back to being the sweet, funny, Tyler we used to know and missed so much.

(Genetics can play a part in the disease of alcoholism. If you have any concerns about you or a family member or friend, please seek help. This disease can be overcome!)

Now, since my last turn is only .6 of a turn, I will have to talk fast:  

a husband who supports and encourages me; the beautiful view from our yard where I can see God’s wonders; the ability to run a business that is also my passion; … and I could mention every family member with multiple things related to each one for which I am thankful, but I think that would take me well beyond my .6 turn.

You get the idea. I am thankful. And although I feel thankful during the year, it’s been good to sit down and set aside some special time to truly and seriously think about all of the things I am thankful for.

I wonder if I should start The Thanksgiving Game this year. Of course, I would start with the letter “A.” My answer would be:  “All of these things:… and then I could start listing them. Do you think I could get away with that being just one turn?

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  1. nightshadow

    Love your Thanksgiving game Karen. Wishing for you a wonderful Thanksgiving day and double your blessings in 2018.


    • Karen

      Thank you, Elaina! I wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving as well.

  2. Karla

    I love this! It’s special that you can be thankful for TWO successful drug recoveries. Amazing!

    • Karen

      Thanks, Karla. It is indeed a blessing.

  3. DeLoris

    “A healthy happy family” is a great start and it begins with “A” 🙂 A Buddhist Spiritualist told me there are only 2 kinds of prayers. Help, help, help and thank you, thank you, thank you! Just like you “thank you” is huge in my vocabulary! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family my dear friend! XOXO

    • Karen

      I like that! “A” yes, indeed – a happy healthy family! Happy thanksgiving to you, my friend!

  4. Adriana Fantes

    Dear Karen, thank you for your honest letter. I too have an daughter who was alcohol dependent but would never have been this open. Everything is ok now but we still don’t mention it. You are teaching me. I like the Buddhist prayer, help and thank you.. My husband died 5 months ago but i say Thank you for my kids who are there for me. With Help and Thank You we will get through this Thanksgiving. And thank you for your wonderful web sit. Adriana Fantes

  5. Beatrice

    Thankful indeed! Addiction is an ugly curse shared by many. I’m so happy to hear your family is strong enough to conquer it.

  6. Holiday Memories

    […] might be the fact that when we were playing The Thanksgiving Game,  and it was Tyler’s turn  (my 16-year-old grandson) – and his letter was […]

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