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I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Ps. 69:30
I love this holiday. It's so American and rooted in giving honor and praise to God. All year long, when we get our big family together, it's always a feast. Still there is a distinction with Thanksgiving! We have our fun. We have our traditions. We have our family recipes! And plus, it's just an exciting, cozy time of year with weather changes, beautiful colors among the landscapes and the delicious smells of cinnamon!
Consider it's Christian origins, is it any wonder that Thanksgiving is getting more and more overshadowed by Halloween, commercialized Christmas, Shopping and Football each passing year?
Yet, the Bible reminds us that thankfulness is a charateristic of God's people. We can celebrate Thanksgiving like it should be done!
Here's some ideas for the day in addition to the feasting:
Read Thanksgiving Bible Verses - Just type in "thanks" or "thanksgiving" on a website like www.biblegateway.com and you'll be amazed how many Bible verses pop up!
Get Dad to read the Story of Thanksgiving outloud. With the East Texan accent, in our home, that can get really entertaining for "pronounciations!" From Sea to Shining Sea is a great book and the children's version allows a condensed version of the details!
Do a family Thanksgiving skit. We used to do this but alas our Chief Massasoit and William Bradford revolted! :) We had so much fun doing it and even made our own video version. I was ambitiously writing my Thanksgiving version of Pride and Prejudice - but it would have been a seriously reduced casting (uh...me) after Mrs. Bennet finished her rhapsody over the turkey and dressing at Pemberly. I possibly could have made a convincing Mrs. Bennett - yet also being Mr. Darcy could have proven a challenge despite my theatrical experience in church plays as a kid!!
Take the time to play family games. It takes a lot of energy to plan all that. One year, we had a Thanksgiving themed obstacle course, wheel barrow races and beyond. We've learned to change it up and just allow each year to unfurl. However, good times usually don't just happen! You've got to plan for success when it comes to doing something besides watching television or playing video games!
Play a game like Kick Ball or go on a walk - after eating all that food, it might be a good idea to get some exercise! Go on a nice, gentle stroll with your best friends, your family and enjoy the outdoors while visiting.
Plan a campfire! Why is it we never can remember all the words to all those great songs we want to sing around a crackling fire? Print them off, but be sure to hand out flash lights should it be dark! :)
Make a Thanksgiving Tree - Give everybody colored strips of paper to write down what they are thankful for. I did this once with students at a horse facility I taught riding lessons. You can very quickly cut out a trunk of the tree with brown paper and then add little rectangular shaped strips in fall colors. Keep it simple!
Be sure to Pray as a Family! In all the festivities, don't forget to stop and Thank God for His provision, His salvation and His love.
If you can - go pet a horse! Of course, I will be making my rounds through the pasture, Lord Willing, and saying hello to the family horses.
Sing! Make a joyful noise as a group. How about some hymns? The internet has the lyrics available ready to print out.
God bless you~ and do have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9