I love to celebrate Thanksgiving. While we try to maintain an “attitude of gratitude” year-round, we begin a special celebration of thanksgiving on November 1, when the Blessing Bowl comes out. Every day in November, we each take a small slip of paper and write down one thing (or dictate one thing) we’re thankful for. We try to collect these blessings all month and then pull them out and share them on Thanksgiving Day. (Our schedule isn’t always perfectly maintained, but that’s what we strive for.)
Last year we decided to keep all of the 2009 blessings in the Blessing Bowl. When we got out the Blessing Bowl yesterday, we looked through some of those slips of paper to see what we were thankful for last year. It’s a way to be grateful all over again for what God did in our lives last year as we begin to concentrate on how He’s blessed us this year.
We also read books about being thankful and why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Some of our favorites are My First Thanksgiving by Tomie dePaola, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas, and Thanksgiving: What Makes It Special? by Harold Myra.
And, of course, there’s always the food. We haven’t ever been solely responsible for preparing the entire Thanksgiving dinner, but we attend several Thanksgiving meals and take a dish to each one. The girls will usually help me prepare those dishes if I ask, but what they really enjoy doing is helping me fix the desserts! They especially like making pumpkin-shaped cutout cookies, tinting icing orange, and decorating the cookies with frosting and lots of sprinkles. Taste-testing is always required!
I don’t ever want to forget everything our founding fathers did to pave the way for us, and I don’t want to take everything our Father does for us for granted either. That’s why we make a big deal out of Thanksgiving!