Thanksgiving is a special holiday that while not a part of any traditional church calendar, the spirit of the holiday fits so well with the Biblical themes of thanks-giving and gratefulness in all things. Thanksgiving is a holiday where I try something new every year rather than having standard traditions (Other than turkey/mashed potatoes/stuffing/cranberry sauce- no one’s going to mess with that!). Last year, we decided to create a Thanksgiving Jar. We placed the Jar in the kitchen where everyone would see it as they walked by, along with pencil and paper, so that as things happen that we are thankful for we can write them down. We actually didn’t start Thanksgiving Jar until the beginning of November last year, so we pulled out our calendars and reminisced a bit concerning things that we had done throughout the year.
Last year, we got a little ambitious and bought a rather large jar, failing to consider that the pieces of paper would stack up at the bottom of the jar in a pile. So, when we looked at how empty the jar seemed, we thought that our idea had bombed pretty badly. But, once we went through these individually, it proved to be a real blessing to everyone. We were surprised how many times “mom” and “dad” came up in the jar as something that the boys were thankful for and had to resist counting who had gotten more. Snapper, our turtle got a shout-out. And there were many other more significant things that our children were thankful for that caused us to pause and truly enter into a spirit of thanksgiving, like:
“Our trip to the Redwoods” (a long time dream of his)
“my great family”
“God sending His Son to save our sins”
This year, we decided to make it a bit more decorative and use festive fall leaf cutouts. You can make on your own leaves or purchase them in sets of 20 here if you are too busy to make your own.
Here are a few Jars that you can purchase on Amazon.
The advantage of using something as decorative as Thanksgiving Fall Leaves is that after you are done with your leaves you can:
- Use them as Decorations
- Use the backside of them as place cards for your Thanksgiving table
- Use your grateful words to make a fall wreath.
- Create a garland to hang with your leaves, mantle decoration or banner
- Decorate your table with the leaves scattered like confetti
- Use them to Encourage others
- Stick one each day of your kid’s or spouse’s door with something you are thankful for about them
- Mail some of your thankful leaves to family and friends or have the kids pass these out as short thank you notes to guests
- Use them to make Child Crafts such as:
- making thanksgiving trees
- background for their thanksgiving hand-turkey
The focus of thanksgiving should not only be on the One who is thankful, but on the one that we are thankful to. In order to focus our attention on the giver of every perfect gift, we chose to put Psalm 107:1 on the outside of our Jar.
Here are some other verses to use on thanks-giving that you could use:
Psalm 107:1 – “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!”
Psalm 50:23 – “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
Colossians 3:15-17 – “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Hebrews 13:14-16 – “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Reflecting on our year and being thankful for all the good moments, even if you’ve gone through difficult days, it is a great way to teach our children how to change their perspective. Focusing on things that have gone wrong is an easy route to take. But remembering God’s goodness or the little blessings, trains their hearts to look outward when circumstances are challenging. I try to keep before me that being thankful isn’t busywork but a chance to train them in long-term gratitude. We all know our attitude is what makes all the difference when life hands us lemons.
THANKFUL STARTER KIT GIVEAWAY RULES:
Hello Intentional friends! Doing our first Prize Giveaway today!
I’m calling it Pin it to Win it! We want to spread the creativity and intentionality with any looking for it, so will you help us?
1) Pin our post “The Thanksgiving Jar” on Pinterest or share on Facebook.
2) Leave a comment on this post that you’ve shared it and what a favorite thanksgiving memory is. That’s it!
Collecting names until Thursday, November 9 at midnight. Winner will be drawn and posted Friday at 9 a.m. Prize includes a Thankful starter kit: “Thanks” acorn banner, 30 gold pins, 30 leaves to write on and metallic marker. (pumpkins and tray not included)
(U.S. addresses only.)
**Congratulations to Kelly Hegarty of Virginia for being the winner of our drawing! I will be contacting you soon for address and info!