Thanksgiving is a wonderful time each year when we pause to reflect on the blessings we have received. We take time to thank our Creator for gifts such as family, friends, food, home, and health.
Too often, Thanksgiving becomes merely a rushed-through precursor to the Christmas holidays. So how can we make it more meaningful, especially if we have children in our home? Here are three keys to creating a meaningful Thanksgiving.
Focus on Being Thankful
While this might seem obvious, how often does the focus of Thanksgiving turn into preparing an elaborate meal, getting along with difficult family members, and watching football games? While those might be integral parts of how you celebrate each fall, they aren’t the real focus.
Plan a way to cultivate thankfulness in your home this Thanksgiving. One way to do this is turn the television off and have everyone share during the meal a few different blessings for which they are thankful. Another way is to attend a special Thanksgiving worship service and gather with people of faith.
Give to Someone in Need
One of the best ways to help children understand thankfulness in a whole new way is to have them serve someone else with a tangible need. Discuss what Thanksgiving is like for people who don’t have the money to purchase groceries or don’t have loved ones with whom to spend the holiday. Have your children brainstorm practical ways to show love to others on Thanksgiving and then put one into action.
Is there someone in your church or school who would benefit from an invitation to your Thanksgiving dinner? Is there a local organization collecting food to provide Thanksgiving baskets for families in need? Is there a way to bless people in a nearby retirement home? Look for ways you and your family can give during the Thanksgiving celebration.
Wait for Christmas
Slowly and steadily Christmas has encroached upon Thanksgiving in recent years. Christmas can wait. Instead of rushing out to shop on the day after Thanksgiving (or even the day of), consider choosing to spend the time enjoying the last of the fall harvest season. Enjoy Thanksgiving and make it more than just a few hours spent eating turkey and pie before rushing out to spend money on things you might not really need.
The True Meaning of Thanksgiving
Taking the time to reflect on our blessings is what Thanksgiving is all about. It can be a deeply meaningful holiday when we don’t allow what is going to follow to overshadow it. How can you ensure that your family embraces the true meaning of Thanksgiving this year?