The Psychological Benefits of Thanksgiving Rituals

When Americans gather together around a table groaning with favorite dishes on the fourth Thursday of November, what are we doing beyond filling our bellies with turkey and pie? We convened four experts in the psychology of family traditions and shared meals for a roundtable discussion about what ritual means in the context of Thanksgiving.

Anne Fishel, psychologist and author of Home for Dinner: I think of Thanksgiving as the mother of all family dinners. As a ritual, it has all the

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