10 Ways To Share Thanks This Thanksgiving

So as you prepare to head off to spend time with your extended family, remember what Paul writes in Colossians 2:6-7 : “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

How can you share a spirit of thankfulness this Thanksgiving?

Here are 10 practical ideas:

1. Go round the table and invite everyone to name one thing, one person and one place for which they are thankful.

2. Have the table decide what is the funniest thing for which someone is thankful!

3. Bring a themed activity for the younger children – perhaps coloring, making a craft or building a Lego turkey – which they then share with the adults and explain what they’ve done and why.

4. Ask the children and teens at the table if they can suggest some benefits of being thankful. Don’t be satisfied with bland answers!

5. Copy the original Pilgrims – after their first brutal year, at Thanksgiving each person was given 5 kernels of corn besude their plate as a reminder of their starvation rations. They then named 5 things for which they were thankful to God.

6. As a family, commit to an act of service that lives out your thankfulness. You might need to arrange this in advance, or agree to do it at a later date, or even have something practical ready for that day (raking the leaves of an elderly neighbor, etc).

7. As a family collect a thankfulness offering of money, which you give to a needy person or cause with whom you are all connected.

8. A fun visual game: put a big glass vase in the middle of the table. As the meal winds down, each person takes a cup of water, says what they are thankful for, and pours the water into the vase. Eventually it will overflow – part of the fun is seeing who will be that tipping point person, so give them a prize or a forfeit! (If you put a big platter or tray underneath the vase then the mess will be easy to clear up.) The point is a simple one to highlight: God’s blessings to us are overflowing in abundance.

9. If you are an active sort of family, see if there is a sponsored 5k run in the future (the local Turkey Trot, etc!). It might mean an early morning, but you could run together and raise money for a cause that is important to your family.

10. “The Prayer” – For some of your family, the grace at Thanksgiving is the only time they ever pray with others. If you are known as being a committed Christian, you might well be asked to lead the prayer, so come prepared! Use simple, non-religious language that points people to the source of all blessing, as you thank God your Heavenly Father.

Excerpt from: http://www.vergenetwork.org/2013/11/21/10-missional-ideas-for-your-family-thanksgiving/3/