The One Thing Missing From Your Thanksgiving Table

turkeyIs it the Green Bean Casserole? The mashed potatoes? Uncle Fred? Nope, the one thing missing from your table, is The Thankful Basket! The Thankful Basket has transformed our Thanksgiving dinner from ho-hum to probably my second/third favorite holiday. Fourth of July provides some stiff competition πŸ™‚

Okay, I know what you are thinking, either 1) I don’t know what a Thankful Basket is but it sounds totally lame (those were my sentiments exactly when I heard about it. or 2) I don’t need a basket to be thankful. This is probably also true, but I’m telling you, the Thankful Basket only sounds lame. With the Thankful Basket your friends and family will have more fun, be more thankful, and I dare I say it, eat just a little bit healthier too.

How it works: Get a nice bread basket, cookie jar, or any container-type thing. Label it “The Thankful Basket” and put small pieces of paper and pens next to it. Tell your guests they need to write what they are thankful for on the paper, fold it in half and put it in the basket (don’t write your name on it). They will probably groan and complain, its fine, just make them do it. Next year they will understand the magic and happily oblige.

After you eat your fabulous meal you bust out the Thankful Basket. Please, please make sure that the room is well lit and everyone is wearing their glasses! Otherwise there is just too many poorly read, misconstrued thankful messages. One by one, each person takes a and paper reads it out loud.Β  Then the whole table tries to guess who wrote it. Whether the message is heart-felt or hilarious everyone has a good time guessing who wrote what and playing along. Here are some examples of past favorites…

“I am Thankful for family, both the one I grew up with and the new one I’ve come to know and love. I am thankful for my fiance too!”

“I am thankful my pants fit”

As you can see, sentimental or silly, they both get the job done! I’m feeling particularly nostalgic this year because I won’t be with my family at home in California this Thanksgiving. As most of you know, I’m in Panama. But I Am looking forward to celebrating with my Panamanian family, and you can bet that I’m going to make them do the Thankful Basket.

In other news, here are some fabulous recipes that may very well be missing from your Thanksgiving Table as well…

Green Bean Casserole from Nourished Simply


Grandma’s Corn Casserole

Green Chile Corn Casserole

Thanksgiving Salad by Pinch of Yum


Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Casserole by Well Plated


Healthier Oatmeal Pecan Pie

oatmeal pecan pie
I love you pecan pie

Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Frosting


Hey Mom and Dad,

P.S. I’m coming home for Thanksgiving!! I can’t wait to spend the day cooking with you πŸ™‚

Do you have any fun Thanksgiving traditions? If you decide to use the Thankful basket this year let me know!

10 thoughts on “The One Thing Missing From Your Thanksgiving Table

  1. Hmm, I’m going to see if I can convince The Pinedas to do the Thankful Basket!

    The Buffs are doing a pre-Thanksgiving on Tuesday so we will have to give it a try!

    Miss you Heath, can’t wait to see you! I’m thankful you are coming home!

    1. Yay!! Definitely you should do thankful basket with pinedas! I can only shine Raul’s answer!! Can’t wait to see you angpooh!!

  2. I love this and as you know I love Thanksgiving. I won’t love it quite so much this year because my favorite baker/sous cheif won’t be here to help me blame all the under/over cooked food on the ovens. I miss you and can’t wait for your return!

  3. YIPPEE!!!! Sooo happy you will be home! I just read that you were doing the Thankful basket with your Panamaian family!!! Avery is making some bubble gum soda for you right NOW!

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