How are you registering on the gratitude meter this week? As we approach Thanksgiving we want to focus on being thankful. Choosing gratitude can change your entire perspective.
Thanksgiving is a natural time of year to recalculate our focus onto being thankful for the little things in our lives, the people we have right now in our lives, and even the things we don’t have. Maybe the fact that we don’t have them is a blessing we can’t see at his point. Or, maybe it is carrying out a purpose bigger than what we know and understand right now.
Be sure to listen to show #162: 10 Ways to Incorporate Gratitude Into Your Thanksgiving Celebration. The following includes all the links and photos from this show.
Choose one of these ten ideas to do this Thanksgiving. Choose more if you like but don’t let it stress you out and defeat the purpose.
10 – Listen to Thanksgiving: A Time To Remember by Barbara Rainey
I (Tracy) just ordered this CD. We are going to listen to this on our drive to Colorado this Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to hear the story myself. Chelle is always talking about it.
I am inspired by Barbara’s thoughts on the topic on her blog here. The following is a portion of what she writes.
“Our national observance of Thanksgiving is unique. It is both distinctly Christian and exclusively American, a holiday for celebrating faith, family, and freedom.
I was determined that my children would hear the stories of the courageous men, women, and children who lived honorably and, through faith in God, made enormous sacrifices to secure freedom for us all.”
~ Barbara Rainey
The Rainey family has a tradition of enjoying this delicious French Toast in the morning before traveling to Grandma’s house for the big meal.
9 – Fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse)
This is a tradition at our church and probably in your community, too. These shoe boxes are given as Christmas gifts to children in need but the time to assemble and turn them in is now. Learn more about it by reading this Operation Christmas Child FACT sheet and by watching this video.
Basically, you fill a shoe box (learn how in this funny video) with practical and fun gifts for a child age 2-14. Drop the shoebox off at a drop off location (find one near you here). Watch how lives are changed on this video here. So touching!
8 – In This Home chalkboard
Proverbs 31 has an In This Home chalkboard. Unfortunately it is back ordered until the first week in December. But you could make something similar like our radio show guest, Jennifer Allwood2, did here.
Fill in the blank: In this home we give thanks for ________________________.
7- Make a Thankful Tree
Feeling crafty? Make this Thankful Tree from Better Homes & Gardens. Start by taking a walk and finding a perfect tree branch. Paint it. Insert it in a vase with some mixed nuts or rocks. Cut out some fall leaves (I found this pattern online). Then write thankful messages and hang them on your tree.
6 – The Thankfulness Jar
If you don’t want to paint a branch or create a chalkboard grab a jar and begin the tradition of The Thankfulness Jar from Little House Living. Merissa takes it one step further. It’s not just a jar to write WHAT you are thankful for, but it’s to write to someone you are thankful for…and why you are thankful for them.
5 – Personal Pilgrim Placecards
These Personal Pilgrim Pacecards from Gracious Rain have got to be the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Launi has a very clear tutorial and printable that you can follow. If you love crafty projects or someone in your family does then this would be a fabulous surprise when everyone walks to the table.
I think I’ll have my kids print this in advance and cut them out in the car…while we listen to Thanksgiving: A Time To Remember!!
4- 5 Kernels of Corn
I love how Yvonne from StoneGable Blog describes the tradition of placing 5 kernels of corn at each place setting of your Thanksgiving meal.
I’ve heard many versions of the 5 KERNELS OF CORN story, but here is how we tell it…
On Nov. 11, 1620 the Mayflower landed on the Northern tip of Cape Cod bringing a group of people searching for religious freedom. We call them the Pilgrims.
It was not easy to settle in a new place… a new world. It was very hard and the Pilgrims suffered greatly.
Winter set in and it was cold and food was in short supply.
It is said that during the cold and harsh winter of 1621, that sometimes only 5 kernels of corn were rationed out to eat.
No matter how small something is… if we see it as a blessing, that’s huge!
That last line is my favorite:
“No matter how small something is…if we see it as a blessing, that’s huge!”
3 – Thanksgiving Blessing Mix
We first learned about this Thanksgiving Blessing Mix from our Mom’s In Touch group. Every Thanksgiving we’d give a bag to each of the teachers and staff at our elementary school. It is simple to make once you purchase the ingredients.
We’ve made a FREE Thanksgiving Blessing Mix printable for you to download, cut out and attach to the bags of blessing mix.
This recipe makes 16 bags (1/2 cup each) of blessing mix:
- 2 cups Bugles (corn snacks)
- 2 cups small pretzels
- 1 cup candy corn
- 1 cup nuts (peanuts) or seeds (sunflower)
- 1 cup dried fruit or raisins
- 1 cup M&Ms
- Our free printable Blessing Mix Gift Tags
One alternative is to add one Hershey kiss to each bag to represent the love of family and friends that sweetens our lives.
2 – Read a book
Reading books focused on gratitude can put our own life into perspective and teach us how to direct and train our thoughts to choose gratitude.
Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss is one of our all time favorites. Worth reading, even doing with a small group of friends, even if it isn’t this week for Thanksgiving.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp is another great book to read. One Thousand Gifts is a celebration of grace and a recognition of the power of gratitude.
1 – Be an example
The best way we know to teach our families to be grateful and to incorporate gratitude into any celebration is to be grateful ourselves. One simple way we can do this is to leave notes for your loved ones. What about placing a note on their nightstand or on their electronic device during the night.
Another idea is to take 10 minutes on Thanksgiving morning before the world gets up and text out to family and friends why you are thankful for them.
Do you have a simple way you are an example of gratitude? Please share it in the comments!
To wrap up, think about all the stuff you have in your home. What have you been holding onto with a tight grip? What have you NOT been using but thinking you needed to keep…just in case?
Take a few moments and choose 10 things you can let go of. How could you use these 10 things to bless someone else today?