Many people have already started their Christmas shopping or at least have made some mental lists. As stores put out their Christmas merchandise earlier and earlier each year, we find ourselves hopping over one of the most important holidays of the year: Thanksgiving.
Here are some tips and family activities you can use in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving to help your family turn it into a season rather than just one day.
Tip #1: Hide those toy catalogs! Your mailbox is likely bulging with catalogs with all sorts of new and exciting things inside. One sure-fire way to help your children focus on being thankful is to put all of those catalogs away. You can bring them out after Thanksgiving if you desire.
Tip #2: Model thankfulness. Talk out loud to yourself about the things that you are thankful for – even if there is no official audience. While you are doing dishes, you can say, “Boy, I am sure thankful that I have a dishwasher and don’t have to do all these dishes by hand.” You never know who is listening. Furthermore, if you make this a habit, you may just find yourself doing it year round!
Tip #3: Create a Thanksgiving tree. Cut a trunk out of brown construction paper, glue it to a piece of posterboard and hang it on a wall. Have your children help you cut out leaves in a variety of shapes and colors. Place those leaves in a container along with a pen on the dinner table. After dinner each night, have each family member write one or two words on a leaf about something they are thankful for and tape it to the tree. The more leaves you add the prettier your tree will become! Add a cut out watering can, attach blue yarn to the spout and write things like, “God’s word” or “God’s love” on the side of the can to show the things God “waters” your family with to help it grow.
These tips and ideas may not eliminate all of the “I wants” in your house, but the activities will at least be giving Thanksgiving the proper place it deserves.