Talking Turkey: Some Quick Tips on Making Thanksgiving Really About Thanksgiving
Most of us are looking forward to Thanksgiving next week. It is a day filled with food, family, parades, football, shopping, and did I mention food? In my mind, it is the beginning of the holiday season that will go through the new year. That is code for: I can acceptably turn on my festive lights and wear holiday sweaters! As great as all those things are, Thanksgiving has the potential to be so much more if we will allow it to be more. It can be a time that we reflect on all the good things in our lives. It can be a time that we see those blessings as more than just good luck but as they really are–gifts from God (Jas. 1:17). I would encourage all our families to insist that Thanksgiving means more than a second helping of pumpkin pie. You might find time for these reflections during your regular family worship, before your meal or maybe even during the Thanksgiving feast. You can start just by asking questions and let people answer them in their own time. Some good questions might be:
- Who is the most thankful person you know?
- What event in this last year are you thankful happened in your life?
- Who is one person that you would like to thank for the impact they have made in your life? (near or far, living or dead)
- What is one thing you are thankful you learned about yourself and God this last year?
- For what are you most thankful to God?
- How do you want to express that thankfulness to God?
Asking these questions will change your family gathering. Afterward, it might be appropriate to spend a few minutes reading some scriptures from God’s Word about thankfulness. Psalm 100, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Ephesians 5:18-20, Philippians 4:6-7, or Psalm 105 are good places to start. Finally, verbally give thanks to God for every good and perfect gift in your life. Name them and name Him as the source of those blessings. Be determined that this Thanksgiving will be more than just talking about turkey.