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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ideas For Thanksgiving

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Would it be any surprise with how I value family on TGMT that Thanksgiving is my hands down most favorite holiday of the year? Forget the invitation to legitimately and blissfully overindulge in foods that tend to only come out during this holiday season. Yes, I will partake of turkey and all the fixins for breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days straight and enjoy every loving minute of it.

What I really love, however, is the combination of lots of family and thankful reflection on the Lord’s blessings over the past year. It’s been a tough year for us. With my husband losing his job in May, finances getting tight, and me dealing with a serious case of battling Satan’s lies we’d have enough to question the gratitude part of the holiday.

But we have been blessed in numerous ways, if nothing else that we’ve been bought and paid for at a great price because God loves us so much.

I asked for ideas from friends about how they celebrate Thanksgiving, and I’d like to share some of them with you, along with a few ideas of my own.

Renae at Life Nurturing Education says her family reads the poem Five Kernels of Corn by Hezekiah Butterworth and ponders the difficulties and sacrifices made by the Pilgrims on Plymouth Plantation. It’s a great reminder of the faith of our country’s forefathers who remained thankful for what little they had in the face of tremendous challenges.

Connie Arnold, who writes wonderful inspirational poetry, penned an acrostic using the letters THANKSGIVING. That sounds like a great family activity that can be shared with others as you’re waiting for the first succulent drumstick to be carved.

John and Elisa, authors of bilingual textbooks at, shared this provocative idea with me on Twitter:

back from our trip. we made our yearly pilgrimage to visit family and remember ancestors. ate too much. snow storms. new memories. now we can work on our own thanksgiving tradition. we invite college students from other countries to join our family at home.

What a sweet way of sharing thanks to the Lord, with people from different cultures. Here are some ideas of my own that I’ve shared via ideas and tips on Twitter:

  • Write a family prayer of thankfulness for Thanksgiving Day. Try using Psalm 100 as a template.
  • Try this quick, fun game: You have 10 seconds to say 5 things you’re thankful for. GO!
  • Discuss as a family what prayers God has answered in the last year.
  • Write a note of appreciation for a member of the armed services who won’t be home for the holiday. Make sure you send a copy of it to the individual’s family. It will be a double blessing!
  • Write a note of appreciation to your pastor, Sunday School teacher or youth leader, thanking them for their faithfulness in doing God’s work.
  • Create a homemade gift or card for a neighbor or friend who has been exceptionally kind or helpful to you.
  • Bake a treat with your child and prepare a basket to take to a shut-in from church.
Just a few ideas before our day of thanksgiving is upon us that you and your family can do to prepare your hearts. I pray this week ahead is a fruitful one to that end.

What are some of your favorite traditions or fondest memories? I’d love to hear about them.

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conarnold said...

Thank you for sharing these Thanksgiving ideas, Deb, and for all the ideas and tips you post on Twitter. You are a blessing!

Deb Burton said...

Thanks for stopping by Connie, and your kind words. And thanks for your contribution to today's post!