The Thanksgiving Jar

The Thanksgiving Jar - Parenting Like HannahWant to add a fun twist to your Thanksgiving celebration? Take a large jar and place beside it scraps of recycled paper and pens. Put the jar in a prominent place. Throughout the year, whenever someone is thankful for something, they write it on a slip of paper and throw it in the bowl. While you are waiting for that extra room to appear in your stomach so you can eat dessert Thanksgiving Day, pull out the bowl and start reading the slips.

Sometimes it is hard to remember to be thankful through your growling stomach. The chaos created just  by getting everyone to the table may make people go blank if asked to share what they are grateful for this year. The jar not only reminds us of the things we are currently grateful for, but how much God has blessed us over the past year. The slips may bring back fun memories or help your family process the difficult times from the previous year.

Did you know versions of the word thanks and thanksgiving are found over 130 times in the Bible? As Christians, we have so much to be thankful for, but we often forget to thank the giver of all of those blessings. We complain about the stress and problems in our life or whine about the cold or the heat. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in everything that’s breaking down or falling apart, we even forget we are blessed by God.

One of our blessings is to live in a country where our leaders decided we should take a day and focus on thanking God for all of the blessings he has given us. Often it is a wonderful chance for several generations of the same family to come together and worship God with prayers of Thanksgiving. What a blessing for your children to see their parents and other friends and relatives giving credit to God for everything and showing their gratitude.

If you haven’t had a thanksgiving jar all year, you can start one any time in November or even on the actual day of the celebration. The important thing is to give people more opportunities to reflect and be grateful to God, not only on Thanksgiving day, but also throughout the entire year.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)