My 2 kids and spouses, 4 grand kids, brother, niece and spouse, nephew and two close friends all gather at our house and stuff ourselves with all the traditional goodies (and a substantial quanity of vino). And we always have a left overs dinner the next day.
As all present are Atheist there are no thanks offered to the imaginary sky ghost, although, everyone gives one event or thing that they are thankful for in the previous year. Everyone is local so there is no traveling.
An appropriate sentiment from Max Coots, who was Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton, New York (if you don't mind the language of "giving thanks" for appreciating our good fortune, no spooks needed) :
Let us give thanks for a bounty of people.
For children who are our second planting,
and though they grow like weeds
and the wind too soon blows them away,
may they forgive us our cultivation
and remember fondly where their roots are.
Let us give thanks:
For generous friends . . . with hearts as big as hubbards
and smiles as bright as their blossoms,
For feisty friends, as tart as apples,
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers,
keep reminding us that we've had them.
For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible,
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants
and as elegant as a row of corn;
And the others, as plain as potatoes and as good for you,
For funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts
and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes,
And serious friends, as complex as cauliflowers
and as intricate as onions.
For friends as unpretentious as cabbages,
As subtle as summer squash,
As persistent as parsley,
As delightful as dill,
As endless as zucchini,
And who, like parsnips,
can be counted on to see you through the winter.
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time
And young friends coming on as fast as radishes,
For loving friends, who wind around us
like tendrils and hold us,
despite our blights, wilts and witherings,
And, finally, for those friends now gone,
like gardens past that have been harvested,
but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter.
For all these, we give thanks.
I really liked reading that Grinning Cat! Thanks for posting it. :) ~Melinda