As I was cooking the Thanksgiving meal yesterday, a game popped into my head that I think would be fun to play. The way I envisioned it, there would be a stack of cards, each with a different category printed on it: items in your kitchen; famous people; things that start with the letter M; characteristics of the person on your left; etc. On your turn, you'd pick a card and then have a minute to name as many things in that category as possible that you're grateful for, and why. Examples could be things like:
- Items in my kitchen: The Vitamix, because it makes great smoothies; the meat thermometer, so I know when the turkey is done
- Famous people: Robin Williams, because he reminds me that even the most talented people still have struggles; Donald Trump, because he is sparking interesting conversations
- M words: Mirrors, so I can see if I have food caught in my teeth; meatballs, because they are fun to make and eat
- Characteristics (of my son, in this case): His full-hearted laugh, because it reminds I can lighten up; his silly dancing, because I think he got it from me :)
At the end of a bunch of rounds, you'd tally up the number of things each person came up with, and the person with the most would be the winner.
I like the game because it focuses on speed and quantity -- how many different things can you be grateful for -- bypassing the part of the brain that might get caught up in choosing the "right" or "best" things. (I don't think there's any right or wrong in gratitude, but I do know from experience that it's possible to get overly-serious about it.) The fact is, you can pick anything in any category, and it'd be possible to come up with a reason to be grateful for it, even if it's something you despise. So the game is an exercise in creativity and flexible thinking, in addition to building one of our most important happiness "muscles."
What do you think? Is this a game you would play? What other games do you know of that are similar?
Wishing you lots and lots of gratitude, today and always.