Introducing The Thanksgiving Project, a set of cards designed to promote connectedness and conversation around the holiday dinner table this year. This month, Sugar Paper begins including a complimentary set in online orders and offering them to all as a free download.

Why? This project is close to my heart. Most importantly, we are fortunate to have a holiday that celebrates gratitude. Secondly, it was a passion project. The cards came to be after an introduction to Casper ter Kuile. We met at a Seth Godin-led workshop. Seth is a best-selling author, successful entrepreneur, and respected high-profile blogger. He is also a teacher and enjoys bringing people together to learn from one another. Casper and I found common ground in our appreciation for creating meaningful connection. We were natural collaborators. And we began to think…how can we create something that highlights and opens a space for heart and mind—the two essential ingredients necessary for gratitude? The answer was a simple set of questions we developed, and that Sugar Paper beautifully realized in print.

The first edition debuted last year. I brought the cards to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Casper and I recognize that not everyone will be an eager participant so we decided to try a specific approach. We set out to encourage the youngest person at the table to answer the first question. It helps break the ice for adults who have a tendency to shy away from the spotlight and illustrates how simple it is to participate.

My then four-year-old son answered the first card, and low and behold, he gave a beautifully thoughtful answer. It set the tone for the rest of the evening. Family pulled cards from the pile, and answered. Everyone loved it. Not only was the table abuzz with thoughtfulness and thankfulness, but the cards and his answers lightened up the mood. It shifted the dyamic of the dinner. I believe it became a much more mindful celebration. I also distributed the cards to a few other friends and family to share with their tables of loved ones. They came back to me with similar results. It was a success!