We asked some of our favorite scribes to riff on the part of their down-home Thanksgiving they simply couldn’t do without. Here’s what they said. (Stay tuned for more…)
Over the years, our Thanksgiving has become like a family reunion. My father, Billy Graham, has 5 children, 19 grandchildren, and 40-something great-grandchildren. Thanksgiving has grown so large—last year we had 70 people, and that wasn’t even all of us—he has the feast catered so the burden won’t fall on anyone.
After dinner, we set chairs in a horseshoe and put Daddy in the middle. Each person shares something they’re thankful for, a blessing they experienced in the past year. Not just the adults, but the kids too. If we finish eating at 2, we might be there until 4:30. After the last shared blessing, someone reads Psalm 100, and then Daddy closes with prayer.
Sometimes he prays with more energy, like he’s preaching. But now that Mother is gone—she passed in 2007—it seems more reflective. When he’s praying, it’s like he has one foot in Heaven. It’s like we have a link, like we’re overhearing a conversation between Daddy and God. And, to borrow from Psalm 100, that’s a joyful noise.