Are you looking for ways to enrich your time together as a family this Thanksgiving holiday? Here are a few simple ideas to express thanks to God as a family in unique and creative ways on Thanksgiving Day.
1 – Read a Thanksgiving Story
Set aside a few moments on Thanksgiving Day to come together and read a Thanksgiving story. One favorite family Thanksgiving book for many Christian families is Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas. The story is about a native American Indian, Squanto, who is captured at age 12. He was meant to be sold into slavery, but instead gets purchased by monks who raise him and teach him about faith in God. After 10 years he is sent back to America and learns that an epidemic has wiped out his entire village. Squanto learns that God has a purpose for his life.
Here are several more Thanksgiving books and stories that can be read with your family. Although the books are written for children, the stories are appreciated at any age.
2 – Write a Thanksgiving Poem or Prayer
Take on the project of writing a family Thanksgiving poem or prayer together, allowing each family member to contribute a line or stanza. If you need inspiration, here are a few favorite Thanksgiving prayers, poems, and blessings. Feel free to share them with your family and friends this holiday.
3 – Share Thanksgiving Bible Verses
Ask each family member to read a favorite Bible verse before the Thanksgiving meal. Here are several well-chosen Scriptures on giving thanks including this one in Psalm 107:1, 8-9: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (NLT)
4 – Remember Thanksgivings Past
During Thanksgiving dinner, ask each family member to share an unforgettable Thanksgiving holiday memory. Don’t forget to include children.
5 – Celebrate With Thanksgiving Communion
Plan a time of family Communion on Thanksgiving Day to give thanks by remembering Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Consider reading the Last Supper Bible story, which forms the biblical basis for Christian Communion. Passages of Scripture that cover the Last Supper are found in Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; and John 13:1-30.
6 – Pass on a Thanksgiving Blessing
Invite a widow, single person, or someone who is lonely to share in your family Thanksgiving meal. Give a grocery store gift card to a single parent or a struggling family. Fill up a college student’s gas tank. Take a piece of pie to someone in a nursing home. The possibilities are endless, so put on your collective thinking caps and get ready to be blessed in return.
7 – Hold a Thanksgiving Day Parade or Play
If you really want to get creative, put on your own Thanksgiving Day parade or “pilgrim play” with family members making up the cast. Invite your friends and neighbors to attend. Here are a few more Pilgrim theme ideas to incorporate.
8 – Give a Thanksgiving Offering
Prepare a special Thanksgiving offering to give to a needy family. Grocery store gift cards are an excellent way to help out families who are struggling to make ends meet. If you don’t personally know someone with a need, consider calling your local church. Most churches can direct you to families or persons in need of financial help, especially during the holidays. Also, you might prefer giving to a favorite charity.
9 – Undertake a Thanksgiving Adoption
Maybe you know someone who is dealing with a serious illness or injury. Shopping for groceries and cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving meal will probably be too exhausting and expensive for them. Why not lift that burden off their shoulders by letting the family know you plan to adopt them at Thanksgiving? Then prepare and deliver their feast, or at least their groceries, in advance.
10 – Enjoy a Thanksgiving Sports Game or Workout
Keep the whole family in shape with an active outdoor game or workout activity designed to burn off those extra Thanksgiving calories. Consider kid-friendly physical activities that can be easily adapted for toddlers, teens, and seniors too. For example, plan a neighborhood football game or a long nature hike for the Thanksgiving weekend