Thanksgiving with your guests should be about more than watching football and eating great food.
Encourage your guests to reflect on the good fortune in their lives by acknowledging it with a memorable holiday toast. Here’s a little inspiration to encourage your speech writing.
1. Give A ‘Modular’ Toast
A common Thanksgiving meal toast allows everyone at the table to share one thing for which they are thankful. Depending on how many people you have at your meal, this can make hungry guests sitting in front of piles of steaming food begin to get antsy.
Instead of asking everyone to be part of one long toast, break the toast into several, tinking your fork against your glass every 10 minutes or so to pause and let one or two more people at the table give their toasts (while everyone keeps eating!).
2. Remember Teachers
Ask each person to toast the most important teacher they had while growing up, naming the teacher, school and class. Have them explain what they learned from that teacher and how they are using what that special mentor taught them to this day.
This will let younger people, and those just moving into management at work, understand how they can have an impact on the people around them.
3. Thank Military Members
If you have a number of military members in your family, including those currently serving, retired or long-ago ancestors, take time to honor and thank them. A week or so before your party, do some research and find out how each entered the service, where they served, what rank they achieved and any interesting stories about them.
If you have family members or close friends serving overseas or around the country, make a video of your toast and send it to them.
4. Honor Historical Figures
Ask your guests in advance to think about a historical figure who made a contribution to the world that affects them today. Have guests explain who the person was, what his or her contribution was, and how it has made people’s lives better today.
This type of toast can inspire people to believe they can make a worthwhile contribution, even if it’s limited to their local community, school or workplace.
5. Be Prepared For A Quickie
If the host or hostess asks everyone around the table to give a short speech of thanks as part of the main toast, be prepared to contribute in a way that sounds meaningful by giving a specific comment. Thinking about the things you’re truly thankful for, use the following topics to formulate your personal message:
- Recognize departed relatives who made your lives better.
- Let young children know what they mean to everyone and why adults are thankful for them.
- Give a shout-out to pets for the love and companionship they give humans, remembering that many are living in shelters, waiting to be rescued.
- Remember a friend who has suffered a tragedy this year, making a pledge to give that person a cheerful call or send a friendly email soon.
- Pray for politicians (of any party) to be guided by a higher calling.