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New Thanksgiving Activity

November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Activity:  Write an Abecedarian of Thanks (Sample Included)

By Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                Would you like a new Thanksgiving activity for you alone or for you and your family or guests?  Whether you are gathering together in person, by phone, or by Zoom–you and yours can choose to write an abecedarian of thanks before the get-together or during the gathering.  If some participants cannot miss a play of the football game, you can enjoy the activity during the commercial periods. 

                The goal of this activity is to write for what you are thankful.  The challenge is to have each listing in alphabetical order–one item or person for each letter of the alphabet.  If you wish, you may write the abecedarian of thanks in the form of a poem; however, if you prefer, you may develop the abecedarian of thanks as a simple listing or an abecedarian of prose.  If you are feeling poetic, rhyming or not is the choice of the writer.  The general purpose is to count your blessings:  smile from your altitude of gratitude. 

By using your own creativity, enjoy writing your abecedarian of thanks.  In the framework of the abecedarian, the lines–letters–that will most challenge your creativity will be “Q,” “X,” and “Z.”  Fortunately, I had an easy time with these three letters as you will find in my example below.  Besides using your imagination to craft lines for these three particular letters, you can certainly peruse a hard-copy or online dictionary.  Luckily, I have an aunt named “Zita” and a guide dog named “Zoe.”  Except for a couple of children’s books, all of my efforts with the use of the abecedarian have been of the poetic variety; however, my sample below is an abecedarian of thanks in prose form.  Happy counting of your blessings from “A” to “Z”!

* * *

An Abecedarian of Thanks for Thanksgiving, 2020

                By Alice Jane-Marie Massa

*A*  Aunts–Applause for all seven of my aunts who set wonderful examples for me, demonstrated how much they cared, and were an important part of my life!  Special applause for my Aunt Kathy who happily is still a wonderful part of our family!

*B* Blanford–Bless my hometown which gave me a perfect place for growing up and for developing a Hoosier small-town perspective for writing.

*C* Cousins–A cornucopia of cheers for my cousins–from the wee little ones to the ones older than I, from throughout the United States, in Mexico, and in Heaven–who have added companionship and humor to my life!

*D* Dad–The person who most inspired me, most loved me is still the one whom I most cherish and treasure:  I am one of the luckiest daughters in the world because Jimmy Massa was and will forever be my dad.

*E* Eric’s coming home safe and well from Iraq and then later from Afghanistan will always make each of my counting-blessings lists.

*F* Friendships– Hurray for the friendships that have sailed with me on both the longer, lasting journeys of my life, as well as the shorter cruises of my life!

*G* Great-nieces and great-nephews–Glad smiles for my great nieces Emmy and Lanie, as well as my great-nephews Tyson, Trey, and Caden!

*H* Heather–Happy tails wag for my second Leader Dog, Heather, who was at my side from April 15, 1998 until July 1, 2010!

*I* Indiana–My thoughts so frequently go “Back Home Again in Indiana,” where I, born and raised in Indiana, gratefully received my forever Hoosier heart.

*J* Jeopardy!–Joy for all the enjoyment and knowledge which I have gained through the decades of watching and listening to my favorite show JEOPARDY!  May Alex Trebek rest in “questionless” peace.

*k* Keller–Kudos for my first Leader Dog, Keller, who introduced me to a new and amazing stage in my life from March 21, 1990 to December 15, 1997!

*L* Leader Dog School–Laurels for Leader Dog School (Rochester, Michigan) for giving me the four greatest gifts of my life–my four treasured and loved Leader Dogs!

*M* Mother–My mother, not a typical mother of the 1950s, was postmaster of our small town for 28 years:  I am grateful that she gave me so much more by doing for me less.

*N* Nephews–Next for this count-my-blessings list are my two nephews Eric and Lee.

*O* Open–Ovations for open hearts, open minds, open windows that have fanned the flairs, frivolities, and fortitude of our lives!

*P* Praise for my pet dogs–Queenie (Beagle), Little Prince (Beagle/Terrier Mix), Prince (Chihuahua/Toy Manchester Mix), Chico (Standard American Cocker), Chelsea (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel)!

*Q* Quilt–Cheers for my former CRC neighbors who handmade for me a remarkably beautiful and meaningful Christmas quilt which I will always cherish!

*R* Restaurant–Robust gratitude to my Aunt Zita and her Binole’s Restaurant where I spent many days of my formative years!

*S* Store–Sweet and savory memories of my maternal grandparents’ and Uncle Pete’s Italian grocery store where I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing all faces of our small town!

*T* Theatre–Thanks for the theatres–especially the live theatrical productions of musicals which have brought many sparkling notes to my life!

*U* Uncles–Undoubtedly, how blessed I was with Uncle Charlie, Uncle Johnny, Uncle Jules, Uncle Pete, and Uncle Bill!

*V* Violin–What joy to hear Eric’s playing the violin, especially “The Ashokan Farewell” and Christmas music!

*W* Willow–Wondrous thanks for my fourth, Leader Dog Willow who has lovingly and expertly been at my side since June 7, 2016!

*X* Xylophone–Very early on December 25, 1955, I was so delighted to find that Santa had left for me a “marching-band” type xylophone that I marched right into my parents’ bedroom to awaken them to the notes of my shiny, new xylophone.

*Y* Yard–Yes, thank you for the yard, field, woods, and gob pile around our Blanford home!

*Z* Zoe–One of the greatest blessings of my life was my third Leader Dog, Zoe, who added such zest to my life from June 6, 2009 to March 16, 2016.  Each day, Willow and I still walk in Zoe’s precious pawprints.

From this altitude of gratitude, from “Aunts” to “Zoe,” my cornucopia is more than half full of thanks.

* * *

With gratitude and good wishes to all of my WORDWALK readers for a blessed and bountiful, happy and healthy Thanksgiving–

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

November 25, 2020 (the 106th anniversary of my mother’s birth)


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  1. lindambritton permalink

    “A” I’m so thankful to Arise each morning God gives me. Another one, I’m thankful for “Alice” and for friendship with her!

    • Hi, Linda–Many thanks for your responding with letter “A” comments on this abecedarian post!  I do appreciate your continuing friendship and look forward to hearing about your special Saturday.

      Congratulations on another milestone!

      Best wishes–Alice and Willow

  2. Following Linda’s lead, I’ll say “B.” I’m so thankful for Alice’s “Blog,” which I eagerly read each and every week! I thoroughly enjoy all the “Beautiful” memories that Alice shares with her readers.

    “Bountiful” Thanksgiving wishes to you, Alice and Willow!
    Love, Mary

    • Thanksgiving Greetings!  Mary–I just realized something about my abecedarian!  Whoops!  When I was working on selecting each item for each letter the previous night, “S” was to represent “sister”–you!  Somehow when I was typing the document from my recollection, after doing “R” for restaurant,” “S” for “store” seemed to follow in line.  Sorry!  In my saved document, I will make the change to show my gratitude to you.

      Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and many thanks for all–Alice and Willow

  3. Gina Amerman permalink

    I’m thankful for Christmas! I’m also thankful for: Alice, her BLOG, and the CONSTANT love and support from all my family and friends…And, of course, my wonderful sister! Alice, you certainly didn’t disappoint with this Thanksgiving post. Have a happy, healthy holiday season. Love, Gina

    • Season’s Greetings!  Gina–How wonderful to have your very nice message added to this Thanksgiving post!  I hope that you and Nancy Kay and all of your families enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season!  Like you, I am thankful for Christmas and all the joy that it brings.

      With thanks and good wishes,

      Alice and Willow

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