Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Good luck if you still need to head to the grocery store. I went out to grab some last minute supplies for some recipes last night and it is definitely busy… but even with the crazy I was blessed to hear a lot of, “Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!” exchanges between strangers.
I personally got to enjoy an extended conversation with a cute elderly man who was searching for the perfect fresh green beans from the pile near me. He shared his grocery list with me and his wife’s perfect Green Bean Casserole Recipe which we were both charged to shop for. I cracked up at this older pair of girlfriends who also jumped into the fresh green bean pile with us. The one just started grabbing handfuls and shoving them into the plastic bag (making us look like fools for having been inspecting our green beans one by one for some time now). The other chimed in, “Mary, it’s just the two of us for Thanksgiving.” Mary responded with a, “What?! I like my green beans.” Made me smile and happy that at least the two of them would be together this year.
In an effort to make Thanksgiving about more than the food and Turkey crafts (it is unbelievable how many cute ways you can make a turkey), I was trying to find a good project for my kids and I to work on this week to help them grasp what a heart of true Thanksgiving is.
This will be the first year we will be hosting a mix of both sides of our families and friends at our house. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to shape the message of Thanksgiving we want our guests to receive. The project I would like to come up with would double as a way to help my children understand a deeper level of thanksgiving and a way to bless our guests by showing them how thankful we are for them.
The Bible has many verses about giving thanks. I loved this Free Thanksgiving Countdown Printable from Faithgateway.com, which had the 28 Days of Thanksgiving Verses and a question to help you break down the verses with your family. Here is just a few to get an example:
Thanksgiving Bible Verses Day 1:
1 Chronicles 29:13 “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” Prompt Question: What can you give God thanks for right now and how can you praise His name?
Thanksgiving Bible Verses Day 2:
1 Thessalonians 1:2 “We always thank god for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.” Prompt Question: Who can you pray for right now, mentioning them in your prayers?
Thanksgiving Bible Verses Day 3:
Psalm 147:7 “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.” Prompt Question: Think of a song we can sing with thankful hearts. Let’s sing it right now!
But with Thanksgiving only a few days away (when I started contemplating the idea of a Thanksgiving Project) I wanted something more tangible… and an easy way to express thanksgiving to all our guests who wouldn’t necessary all respond to Bible verses because they aren’t all believers.
After doing a lot of research, the overall message I was reading was that children (and adults too… I would suggest) need help understanding what it truly means to be thankful. A way to help them is by encouraging them to get specific. Instead of asking why are you thankful, for say… Grandma? And having them respond with a generic idea like, “I am thankful for Grandma because she is nice.” Ask the children to get very specific about what makes Grandma “nice.” What does Grandma do or say that makes her a nice person? Why else are we thankful that Grandma is in our life?
So we ran with that! We would come up with a list of specific reasons we are thankful for each of the guests that would be attending Thanksgiving at our home this year. I had to incorporate my children’s artistic abilities some how because their drawings and writings are too darn cute to pass up.
This was the blueprint of the idea we came up with for a picture that we would make for each person on our guest list. We also wrote out a list of all our guests so we knew how many we would need to make.
ASSIGNING THE TASKS
Now that we knew what we wanted to make, we needed to break it down so not one person was doing all the work… after all we all needed to participate in the process in order for the project to have its full affect.
Mommy– Would ask good questions to help the kids think about why we are thankful for the guests on our list and she would record the initial brainstorm of specific reasons. She would also buy the frames to put the finished projects in to give each guest.
Eliann– Would help re-write the list of specific reasons we are thankful for each guest on to the finished project we would give each guest.
David– Would help draw a picture of each person in a setting that reflects something we love about that person on the finished project we would give each guest.
The finished projects are adorable and speak for themselves. We plan to hand each one out to the guests and maybe share a couple of the reasons we wrote down that we are thankful for them to the whole group. Perhaps I will let Pierce help us pass them out so that he can have some part in this fun project too. Here are some of the finished projects for you to enjoy:
YOUR FAMILY CAN DO THIS TOO!
I share this with you because I think it is an easy enough project to pull off right now or even tomorrow morning as you anticipate giving thanks for family and friends. All you need is a little bit of time, some paper/markers and a frame. You wouldn’t even have to frame it if you didn’t have time to run out and grab frames (Target $2.99 RE Room Essentials Photo Frame 8×10). The thought put into the project is enough to bless anyone. If you are an adult making this for another adult you might consider using a picture of you and the person instead of hand drawing one… although that would be funny and cute too.
OTHER FREE RESOURCES FOR YOUR FAMILY THIS THANKSGIVING