When my grandparents on my father’s side were alive, we would spend our Thanksgivings at their house. It was a traditional affair with turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green peas, cranberries, homemade rolls, wine, mince meat pie, pumpkin pie and the like.
My grandfather would stand at the head of the table ready to carve the turkey, first saying grace. He would start off with Oh Heavenly Father we thank you for…. Then he’d mention our family, our togetherness, health, community, yearly achievements, etc. Then he would go into the traditional prayer: Bless this food to our use, us to thy service, and make us ever mindful of the needs of others.
But he would always end it with his own personal tongue in cheek. Instead of saying: “And make us ever mindful of the needs of others” he’d get a wry smile on his face, glance around at us all, raise a knowing eyebrow, nod and say: “And make us ever needful of the minds of others.” Every year, we’d wait for that, we’d let out a good laugh, and we’d get down to the business of stuffing ourselves to more laughter and conversation.
I think both versions are words to live by. (and I really miss my grandparents!)