Have you ever gotten past a “big” holiday only to realize that you missed it? Oh, you celebrated with the food, the decorations and the flare, but you got so caught up in all the trappings that you didn’t really celebrate the true holiday. I think we’ve all been there a time or two (or twenty)!
In order to help us not regret “missing Thanksgiving,” I think it’s important to do some thinking and planning NOW to ensure that the holiday will be celebrated in a way that is a blessing to all who gather because we focused on what was really, truly important. That would not mean the lumpy gravy, the squashed rolls or the dry turkey, but on giving thanks. It’s just so easy to sit down to a bountiful table, everyone starving and ready to dive in, have the blessing for the meal, finish with dessert and football and totally overlook stopping for worship and givng of thanks to our great God for ALL His blessings.
Let me make a couple suggestions to help you plan for this time – no matter the size of the group that gathers.
If you’re married, talk to your husband about how you could incorporate a time of giving thanks into your day. Ask for his input and depend on him to help implement this (if possible).
Consider the food. If the meal is hot and on the table, the time of the blessing might not be the best time to also go around and have everyone share the things for which they’re thankful. That’s spoken from the hostess side who wants the food to be hot! Perhaps during the meal or afterwards would be better.
Let everyone that’s coming know that they need to be thinking about the blessings they could share. Being prepared is helpful for everyone.
Reading a portion of Scripture after dinner would be a great tradition. Psalm 34, 44:4-8, 92, 95, 100, 111, or 138 would all be good choices.
Sing a hymn together. If your family isn’t musical, use Alexa to play it and join in singing!
Spend time praying for one another.
My family has had what we call “Puff Moments” for many years on Thanksgiving Day. We gather in the living room after supper and share our blessings from the past year. There are inevitably many tears shed as we rehearse the ways God has answered prayer or helped in trials. The Puffs get passed around the room! What a sweet time it always is.
Plan ahead and prepare your own heart and that of your guests so you won’t miss out on giving thanks this Thanksgiving.
Share one blessing from this past year. I have my Puff ready!
Forty years later I still remember my guilt at realizing months after I got married that I had forgotten to write a thank you note for a belated wedding gift. Sadly, my embarrassment kept me from writing. I’ve since learned that a late note is better than none at all! It dawned on me this week that I had not written a note to a sweet friend who had given us a gracious gift. While I know she loves me enough not to judge me for my neglect, I quickly wrote the note to remedy my lazy gratitude.
We’ve all been guilty, I’m sure, of neglecting to write a thank you note after receiving a gift. Perhaps it’s busyness or forgetfulness or perhaps it’s a third area to blame – “What do I say?” If you haven’t asked that question, I bet your child has! There are really only three components needed for a thank you note to do its job.
Say thank you for the gift That would include gratitude for remembering the occasion for which it was given. “It was so sweet of you to send the bouquet of flowers. That made my birthday so special!”
Say what you will do with the gift or why you appreciated it. “The slippers will be so cozy in the upcoming cold temperatures!”
Say something about the person who sent the gift. “I’m so glad the Lord gave me such a dear friend in my sister!”
Those three components will make the recipient know:you received the gift (if it was sent), you loved the gift, and that you appreciate them.
Have you ever realized you forgot to write a thank you note? Did you send a late one or none at all?
Perhaps you’ve heard the line, “When this you see, think of me.” What do you see that automatically takes you to summer? Maybe it’s the 100 degrees on the thermometer outside your window accompanied by 100% humidity, but I mean the good pictures, the things that make your heart happy!
It IS hot right now, but there are too many good things we can’t overlook. I’m asking the Lord to give me a heart of thanks in both this season of the year and in our world. That means we need eyes that look for the blessings and a mouth to speak it.
So here are a few of my summer blessings in picture form today!
What blessings of summer are you seeing with your thankful heart today?
Refresh your attitude by choosing to give thanks – even when it’s hot as blazes!
It was Saturday afternoon and I drove into the city to the local rehabilitation center. Two church members are there recovering and I was going to visit and remind them of our love for them and prayers on their behalf. After spending time with both patients, I walked out into the sun-filled day, very aware of the blessing of using my two legs to Continue reading “Cultivating a Thankful Heart”→
I recently saw a picture of myself from the 90’s and it made me laugh out loud. The fashion statement in those days was the addition of shoulder pads. They made my small frame look like I was trying out for some football team. Not pretty.
Some things like shoulder pads go out of style, but some things never do – like a thankful heart. Gratitude is always attractive! The means to display gratitude is another thing that will never be passe’ and it comes in the form of a Thank you Note. Thank you notes are a special touch to demonstrate your gratitude for an act of kindness or a gesture of generosity.
That being said, let’s talk a little about when and how to write one.
When should we write a thank you card?
When you receive a gift.
You get the idea…we get gifts often, and so a thank you needs to be sent…often.
When you have been a guest in someone’s home
For a meal
As an overnight guest
When someone has done a kind gesture
Helped when you were sick
Done a task for you
What should a thank you note say?
What the person did
Why it meant something special to you
How it will be used (if it was a gift)
That you are grateful
It doesn’t have to be long, just include the essentials listed above, and do it promptly. The saying that has stuck with me is,
Swift gratitude is the sweetest!
If you wait until 6 months after your wedding to send Aunt Betty a thank you for the place setting of your china, it’s not going to be received as warmly as it would have a couple weeks after your honeymoon. So being prompt is key.
I receive lots of sweet thank you’s and it always means so much. Just that the person would stop to write out their gratitude means a lot. It’s a social skill that will never grow out of style. Let’s all try to put on thankfulness and see how it embellishes our personal style far better than those 1990 shoulder pads did!
Are you an avid thank you note writer? When was the last time you received one?