Thanksgiving is different this year and here is something we can do about it. We can make it on our own terms while we meet the need of freezing in-person social activity helping to slow down the pandemic’s spike in America. ( Or anywhere.) We can plan a new event for our circle of loved ones. We can offer our creativity and talents to enjoy, and we can let people know they are loved and appreciated.
Why not have an original entertainment event after dinner as the main feature? We could be with our masked 6 or less at home safely distanced, and zoom in all the others from anywhere around the world. Send out rsvp email invitations in advance to synchronize the event across time zones. Limit the event to an hour or so. Have a list of who wants to share something and divvy up time time slots for participants, like in a talent show. Decide on an MC that keeps time.
The first part of the home event is the offering and creative part, the second part would be the flower watering part.
Offerings: One by one, participants could offer their talent. It could be a drawing, a favorite poem or short story told or read, a photograph, a song, artwork, playing an instrument, or a joke… The age and mastery of the entertainer does not matter. The only qualifier is the desire to share. Whatever is offered, by anyone, will most likely be entertaining and appreciated. There could be some new surprises.
Flower Watering: (Thich Nhat Hanh taught us this at Plum Village and now it is done all over the world.) In a circle, or on zoom, each person will have the chance individually, to hear kind and true words from every other person. The point is to directly tell the subject one positive thing you’ve noticed about them. (This is experienced as if a flower was being lovingly given a little water by each person.) The subject is not expected to reply, but usually just smile and nod or bow. Everyone has a turn, one by one, to be the object of appreciation. Enjoy. It s a beautiful practice.