Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to focus on this commandment. But for the past few months, God has been teaching me to grow beyond just thanking God each November. When thanksgiving becomes a way of life, our entire lives will be changed. Instead of being ruled by our circumstances, we begin seeing God as Sovereign Lord, a provider, and a protector. Here are a few fun ideas to help your family and mine begin this life changing process.
1. Memorize Psalm 100
According to Wikipedia, the Pilgrims sighted land on November 9, 1620. “The passengers who had endured miserable conditions for about sixty-five days were led by William Brewster in Psalm 100 as a prayer of thanksgiving.” What better way to begin your Thanksgiving celebration than reciting this Psalm together as a family. Make it a goal to memorize these five verses for the month of November. To help preschoolers, I’ve created a Thanksgiving Activity Workbook that includes motions and a storyboard.
2. Play Letters of Thanksgiving
On the dining room table place a basket of magnetic refrigerator letters for the kids to pick a letter at meal time and tell you one thing they are thankful for that begins with that letter. Write the ideas down to create an alphabetized list and post each on the refrigerator.
3. Make a Thanksgiving Paper Chain
Instruct each person to write on a paper chain link something for which they are thankful. See how long you can make your chain. For younger children, pre-make the chain and have the child tear off a link each day.
4. Create a Thanksgiving Tree
On a wall, door, or bulletin board create the outline of a tree. Cut leaves to add to the tree. Every evening encourage each person to say one thing for which they are thankful. Write it on a leaf and add it to the tree. Printable included in the ABCJesusLovesMe Thanksgiving Activity Workbook
5. Give a Basket of Thanks
Prepare a basket of goodies for people for whom you are thankful. This could be a teacher, neighbor, pastor, or other community helper. Include a note of thanks. Involve the child by allowing him or her to decorate the card and basket.
It’s been said that if you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit. Praising God, giving thanks, and sharing with others for the month of November is a great way to begin a new Godly habit!