Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to refocus our family on everything we have been blessed with. As the Christmas decorations went up the day after Halloween, and the carols will follow in a few short weeks, this special holiday is easy to overlook. So stop! Pause and see the significance of this day. Be thankful that it is right before Christmas, when everything around us screams “You will not be happy unless you have fill in the blank“. (Does any one else think the Lexus commercials are ridiculous? I mean, I would kill my husband if he bought me car for Christmas – especially one with a big red bow on top.) It is when our hearts are full of thanks that we can appropriately appreciate the Christmas season and the Christmas story. Plus, it would be really good if this crazy “post card” was not true about us!
Being thankful should not just be a seasonal fling. Rather, it is a habit that is important to practice on a daily basis. You may remember this post by Christina, about her daily thankfulness calendar. I have also been influenced by Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts“, which encourages taking time to appreciate the little things throughout our day, as well as the hard things in life. And the “founders” of Thanksgiving certainly had many reasons to be thankful. They came in pursuit of religious freedom. After endouring a very long and difficult year in a new land, they were truly thankful for their lives, faith, freedom, and friends, in addition to all the fine turkeys they had prepared for dinner.
Two years ago during the month of November I had my oldest fill out an ABC thankful list. He was only 4 at the time, so I did the writing for him and helped him think of ideas. With some prodding he managed to include Mommy and Daddy on the list along with every animal he could think of. This year, I’ll have both my boys make an ABC thankful list, which we will enjoy having on display during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. My plan is to repeat this process every few years so that we can save their lists and see how they change over time. I’m sure that as teens they will laugh at their 4 year old lists full of animals and toys!
Come to think of it, maybe I’ll make a list myself this year. A black and white reminder of God’s goodness hanging on my kitchen wall might help me in my practice of daily thankfulness.
You can find a blank ABC Thankfulness list to print out here (For whatever reason this document is looking funny when I view it on a mobile device, but ok on my PC. If you try to print it out and have a problem, please let me know!) We plan to decorate the border of ours with leaf rubbings!