In the upcoming holidays, many of us have intentions to create an atmosphere of gratitude—and often, asking questions about gratitude can quickly start a family conversation about generosity. However, starting authentic family conversation during the busyness of the season is not always easy. Here are a few gratitude and generosity conversation starters to use at your family’s Christmas table.
The first step is simply to create space for the conversation. As hard as it can be, make it a point to gather your family and share your desire and expectation to talk through topics like gratitude and generosity. Setting clear intentions for this conversation can develop a strong foundation for your family to build from, even in the midst of a fast-paced, always-wanting-more culture.
As you navigate the differences in generational communication, be clear that in a family conversation, all are welcome to contribute. Invite ideas and big dreams, and even express your willingness to hear about hurts or needs that should be met. When your family gathers around a common purpose like family generosity and gratitude, it builds unity. We all want to make a difference, and it feels even better to do it in community.
Start the conversation
After you start the family’s conversation, be prepared to guide the discussion with additional thoughts and questions about gratitude and generosity. Here are a few easy thankfulness conversation starters that may help launch you into further discussion:
- Can you remember a time you received something that you didn’t deserve? How did that make you feel?
- Who is the most generous person you know? What makes them that way?
- “To give is to receive”. What does this quote mean to you? Do you think it’s true?
- If you could write the last check needed to solve a problem in the world, what would you solve? Why is that important to you?
- Do you typically think you have more than you need, less than you need, or exactly what you need?
These are just a few examples of ways you can generate organic conversation about gratitude and generosity. Generosity and gratitude are often caught, not taught. By sharing your own experiences and modeling a generous lifestyle to your children, you invite your family into a legacy of generosity. Being aware of these small acts can leave a lasting legacy for your entire family to pass down for generations.
Don’t let the conversation end there. Make sure to end these conversations with the next step you all want to take together. Whether you need to dig further into the common values you want to pursue, or maybe you want to create a generosity plan together, set a plan for how you will follow through. The Signatry has a guide to build a generosity plan as a family that will provide resources to create that plan together.
This post was originally published on November 16, 2018.