Making Thanksgiving Meaningful
Do you want your thanksgiving gathering to include, well, giving thanks?
We all love sharing turkey, fixings and pumpkin pie around with family and friends followed by the annual turkey bowl. But too often we forget to plan a few moments to focus on the purpose of the holiday. Choose one or several of these ideas to help your family enjoy fun Thanksgiving traditions while expressing thanks to God for His many blessings.
If you don’t have a church home, we would love for you to join us for an upcoming worship service to help foster an ongoing spirit of thanksgiving in your home.
Some helpful tips
SHOW AND THANKS
Designate a particular tablecloth for your family Thanksgiving celebrations. Provide fabric markers where guests can record their “gratitudes” or special prayers for the year ahead. Ask your guests to sign and date each message, as you’ll be using the same tablecloth year after year.
THANK YOU NOTES
Set up an area with paper, pens and colors for everyone to write thank you notes to someone who has blessed them in some way this year. They can thank family members, friends, or teachers. They can also write a thank you to God. Younger children can draw pictures. Let everyone who wishes read their notes aloud during the meal.
Play a fun game with the ABC’s and thanks. Start with saying something that you are thankful for that starts with the letter “A” and go through all the letters of the alphabet. Have members take turns or have each person share a “thanks” for each letter.
THANKSGIVING BLESSING CARDS
Write each person’s name across the top of a card.
Set these cards out and have everyone write something about that person for which they are thankful on the back. During dessert, gather the cards and take turns reading and blessing each person at the table.
As guests arrive, have each person write a few things that they are grateful for on small sheets of paper. Make your own special roll recipe or bake pre-packaged crescent rolls.
Place the papers on the dough wedges, roll them up into the crescent shape and follow the baking directions. When the rolls are served, pass them around and enjoy the moment as each guest tears into their hot roll and reads what someone else at the table is grateful for. Have fun guessing who wrote each “thanks.”
GIVE A THANKSGIVING BLESSING
Extend the spirit of thanksgiving to others in one of these ways…
DINE IN: Consider inviting someone that might be alone or needy to share the bounty at your Thanksgiving celebration. Invite them to join your family for a meal and informal time spent playing games, doing puzzles, telling stories, singing or just hanging out together.
DELIVERY: Plan to cook double the amount of food that you need for your family. If you usually have family members make different items to bring to your feast, ask if they will double the recipe and bring in two separate dishes. Check with the church or local schools to find a family in need. Contact the family and let them know that you will be bringing them a Thanksgiving feast and arrange details for delivery. Either before or after enjoying your meal, pack up and deliver the food. Spend time praying with the family before you leave.