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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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You have so much to be thankful for! How many times do our kids hear us reminding them to be thankful for what they have? This is something we all have to be mindful of! We truly are so blessed and have so much to thank God for! I love November and Thanksgiving and the opportunity it brings to be intentional to think about and talk with our children about having a thankful heart. Instead of just talking about it, start a new tradition this November by making a thankful wall together as a family!
From brown construction paper, cut out the trunk and branches of a tree or, if you’re really good, the body of a turkey and tape it to the wall. Then cut leaves or feathers out of red, yellow, and orange paper. Every day, give a leaf or a feather to each family member—mom, dad, kids, even Nana or Grandpa—and ask them to write something they’re thankful for on it. They don’t have to write their name unless they want to. Next, have each child write down something they’re thankful for every day this month leading up to Thanksgiving. If you aren’t a super crafty or creative person, and if this seems a bit much, then you can do something as simple as sticky notes on the refrigerator or writing on a chalkboard.
On Thanksgiving Day, spend time together and have each family member pull their leaves or feathers and read what they wrote down. Spend time celebrating those things and thanking God for them. Teach your children that ALL good things from above (James 1:17) and then gobble up that turkey and pumpkin pie!
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude in the hearts of your children. Take an evening gratitude walk or bike ride together as a family and look for things you are thankful for! We have so many things to be grateful for, like beautiful leaves, palm trees, rain, cars that get us around and take us where we need to go, neighbors, mail carriers, flowers, puppies, the wind, the warm sun, and the beach. Take a notepad with you and let your kids tell you what they’re thankful for.
And finally, a bedtime prayer of gratitude is always a wonderful way to end the day. This simple prayer offers the opportunity to thank God for all He’s done for you.