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Writing Out Our Gratitude at Thanksgiving

by Cathy Baker

Some of my best memories are those that surrounded the holidays. For an only child, I was blessed to have a large family that gathered every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I didn’t realize what a blessing I was experiencing until it was over, for the most part, after the passing of my grandparents.

We must grasp the power of showing our gratitude towards others while we can.

A few years back, Brian and I took time to brainstorm specific ways we’re thankful for those who would sit around our Thanksgiving table that night. We wrote both serious and funny reasons on slips of paper and put them in tiny Thanksgiving-themed bags. I printed off simple tags that read Why We’re Thankful for You, tied them to the bag, added their name, and used them as place cards.

After we finished eating that night, each person took a turn drawing a slip of paper from their bag and reading it aloud. It added a little more meaning (and laughter!) to our time together, and for this I am grateful.

{If I do it again, I may get everyone involved by writing down one reason for each person before the meal.}

Practically any place card can become a personal opportunity to show our gratitude. The tent-type works especially well. I’ve used these for tea parties before.

Thankfully, it’s not about our level of craftiness—it’s about finding simple, meaningful ways to show our gratitude towards another person—and there’s no better season to put our feelings into action.

I pray that you and those you love will have a very blessed Thanksgiving. 

 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

 

3 Unique Ways to Bless Others Via…Pumpkins!

by Cathy Baker

Did you know that the word “pumpkin” showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella, according to Good Housekeeping?

Yep, today we’re talking pumpkins, fall’s favorite fruit, and unique ways we can use them to bless others.

Thistle Wood Farms

1. Gather neighbors, family and friends for a game night. Nothing builds community like informal gatherings, food, and fun! If your gathering falls on a Bible study night, use the letters to spell out certain key words in your passage. Searching for a unique conversation piece, centerpiece, and game all in one?

Kari Anne over at Thistle Wood Farms has you covered. Simply scatter the chalk and let the games begin. 

Chalkboard Word Finder Pumpkin

mywedding.com

2. Nothing says you are welcome in this place than seeing your name placed on the table, reserving your special spot. Place cards, however, need not be fancy. In fact, the more unique, the better. 

If you’re searching for inspiration for your next tea or friendly gathering, Mywedding.com has a plethora of unique fallish ideas—but here’s the pumpkin favorite!

3. Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Yes, honey roasted. Yum. 

Get the children or grandchildren involved in the process by separating the seeds once removed from the pumpkin. Cook, cool, and then place scoops in cellophane bags, tie with an orange ribbon, and secretly bless someone by dropping off a bag at a friend’s doorstep with a handwritten prayer and the link for the recipe.

The Clever Carrot {healthy comfort food} has nailed this one, among many other fall faves. If you’ve never visited this site, do so immediately!

I hope you find a favorite among one of these. Leave a comment letting me know which of the three is your fave — or if you have another. Please share!

Thankfulness: Write it Down

Today, let’s focus on Thanksgiving! We’ll turn our attention to Christmas on Monday. 

Thankfulness: Write it down. 

So, what better opportunity to write someone who has left an indelible impression on your life? Be as specific as possible when sharing why you’re thankful for them. Tell them how they made you feel or how God used them to draw you closer to Him. An email will do, but nothing trumps a handwritten note for the personal touch.

Another way to share the gift of thankfulness in the written form is to give thought as to why you’re thankful for those who will be seated around your Thanksgiving table. Purchase white place cards or make them yourself (very easy!) On the front, write the person’s name. Inside, begin with “Why I’m thankful for you” and then share one reason you’re thankful for them. Take turns reading the cards around the table, inviting others to share why they’re also thankful for each person.

One last idea is to begin, if you haven’t already, a gratitude journal. A great place to start is by reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I’m currently enjoying the devotional that goes along with the book. Inside, there’s space to jot down our own 1,000 gifts of gratitude. 

Simple but oh so meaningful. 

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you
a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having
the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope
to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious
inheritance in the saints…”  Ephesians 1:16-18

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