I believe that families should always communicate. This can, however, be a challenge when your only apparent relative is dead. Even though my Nanna isn't with us anymore, conversations with her can get a bit one-sided; it's hard to get a word in edgewise over her demented shrieking and wailing. My advice: when a loved-one dies, do not hire a witch doctor to be a funeral director.
I watch TV, so I consider myself pretty well-informed. So I know that Thanksgiving started in America but, like baseball, it just hasn't really taken off anywhere else. When you're saying what you're grateful for, remember to keep it random. "I'm thankful for surviving the Walrus Incident" should keep them guessing.