Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications
Growing up, it was a tradition in our home to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. This made it a necessity to have the turkey in the oven before it came on.
Following the parade, football games with snacks to hold us over kept us occupied till the main event: the trip to the table laden with the scrumptious feast.
What took hours to prepare and cook was gone in short order. Then before you knew it, the day was over with everyone full from the food and exhausted from the mounds of dirty dishes.
Could there be more to Thanksgiving?
Amidst the feasting, football, fun, and family, let us not forget to stop and give thanks: “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving…for the Lord is a great God…” [Psalm 95]
Thanksgiving started as a way to give thanks for the blessings of the harvest as well as all the many blessings bestowed by God over the preceding year.
What are some of the blessings you received this past year?
As a family, this Thanksgiving, take time to thank God. As grandparents, let us lead the way in turning our family’s eyes toward the Giver of such great gifts.
We often do not realize how blessed we truly are – it is always good to stop and rehearse all God has done for us.
A friend John shared that at a recent event, he had the participants walk through an activity to help them realize just how blessed they have been.
This activity is at the bottom of this blog, here. You may want to use it or make up your own.
The important thing is to take time and thank God for all He has done for you for this past year.
Consider leading a time of sharing the many blessings in a tangible way. Maybe following the prayer over the meal, go around the table asking each person to share something they are grateful for in the past year.
Prior to the meal, you could have the grandkids make placemats for each person in attendance. Then each person writes things they are thankful for on their placemat.
You could also use the word THANKS and throughout the meal think of things you are grateful for in your family that start with each letter. See how many you can come up with.
For example – T is for the time together we get to spend. H is for the happiness you bring to my life. H is for Hannah – what a blessing you are to our family. A is for the aroma of the yummy food Grammy made for us to enjoy. N is for our newborn grandson.
While we often overlook the daily benefits God continually bestows on us, there is also another thing to consider.
Many throughout North America and the world are suffering. Maybe this is a time you decide as a family what you can do for others this holiday season.
Is there a project you can participate in as a family? Is there something you can invest in? Think about how you can use your blessings to bless another.
Think too about the traditions and memories you share as a family. Consider using the Let’s Talk cards original or the brand new holiday edition of Let’s Talk.
They are great conversation starters that the whole family will enjoy. Click here to get a set.
Do the children and grandchildren know why the traditions got started? Ask them about some of their favorite memories. Their memories may surprise you.
The first memory immediately shared by our adult children is the one where we had to stop and eat at a gas station convenience store. Traffic was horrendous and we knew we would not make it in time for any meal.
They were getting hungry, or should I say, hangry! We still talk and now can laugh about that Thanksgiving. We often share what God taught us that day.
We have so much to acknowledge and thank God for every day. Let’s not forget to do it not only on this special day but every day.
May we live lives that show and speak our gratefulness to God for His provision, protection, and presence. May we share this truth with others this holiday season.
In my mind, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a busy holiday season. Take time this Thanksgiving to enjoy your family.
May you have a blessed time sharing laughter, food, and fun with all the faces gathered around your table. Happy Thanksgiving!
Count Your Blessings – Name them one by one
___ 1. Write down the number of years you have lived as gifts from God.
___ 2. Thank God for His Word. Add one point for each Bible you own.
___ 3. Thank God for the pets He has put in your life to care for. Add one point for each pet.
___ 4. Sleep is a gift. If you were able to sleep last night under a roof, add 5 points.
___ 5. If you ate a meal in the last 6 hours, add 5 points.
___ 6. If you worshipped God this week without fear of persecution, add 5 points.
___ 7. If you messed up this week and experienced God’s forgiveness, add 10 points.
___ 8. Count the number of means of transport – car, bike, wheelchair, walker.
___ 9. Count the number of pairs of shoes in your closet. Add a point for each.
___ 10. If you were in a hospital this year & ‘enjoyed’ the medical professional services, add 5 points.
___ 11. If you laughed today – the best medicine – add 5 points.
___ 12. If you voted in an election this year, add 5 points.
___ 13. If you were at a funeral this past month, add 5 points for the hope we have in Jesus.
___ 14. If your electricity did not go off this past month, add 5 points.
___ 15. If you have indoor plumbing in your house add 5 points.
___ 16. Add up the number of medications you take. Thank God for scientists.