Becoming Thankful Together


Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

While we should be grateful every day, I love that we have one holiday dedicated just to giving thanks for all we’ve been given. And who doesn’t love pumpkin pie too?

Yet sometimes the holidays fly by before we even have any time to embrace them or focus on what they’re all about. Time goes fast in today’s world.

This Thanksgiving I want to be more intentional about celebrating the holiday and making time for family activities, instead of just rushing from one thing to the next. You too?

Here are just a few suggestions I have on how to do this:

1. Family Thank-You Lists. Distribute index cards to each member of your family. You can write a card for each member of your family, or draw names from a hat and pair each family member up with someone. On your index cards write out a list of at least three things from the last year that you want to say thank you to that family member for. Maybe it’s a character quality they’ve shown you or a sacrificial act they’ve done for you. Write it down and say “thank you!” Then go around the table and read your cards out loud to one another.

2. “Stuff the turkey.” My mom did this with my sister and I when we were kids, so this is an especially fun activity to do if you have younger ones in your family. But who says adults can’t have fun too? To play, make a big pot of popcorn and give a sock and a spoon to each person playing. The sock is representing the “turkey” and your goal is for each person to see how full they can stuff it with popcorn using their spoons, in only a minute or two!

3. Read Psalm 136 aloud. Have each member of your family take turns reading aloud from this beautiful chapter of the Bible on thankfulness and remembering all God has done. When you’ve finished reading, consider writing your own family psalm of thankfulness! Use Psalm 136 as a guide and begin listing out different ways God was faithful to your family in the last year. End each example with “His faithful love endures forever!”

4. Sing a song together. Choose a song of thankfulness and start singing! You could sing a classic hymn like “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Or you could go for a worship song and some of my favorites are: “Forever” by Chris Tomlin, “For All You’ve Done” by Hillsong, or another hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”

5. Invite someone over for dinner. Consider opening your home and table to a guest. Maybe there’s someone in your church or community who doesn’t have any family around. Maybe their Thanksgiving is going to be a little bit lonely with just some microwave dinners all to themselves. Invite them to join your family! If you want to protect your family time around the holiday as well, consider having your special family time during lunch and invite your guest for dinner. Be God’s love to someone this thanksgiving and give back all that has been given to you.

What are some Thanksgiving traditions or activities you and your family have? We’d love to hear them!

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