When it comes to Thanksgiving, most families celebrate in their own way, enjoying the opportunity to be amongst family and friends. However, getting swept up in the day’s events, we often forget the purpose of Thanksgiving. Whether watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, starting on the holiday shopping, or hosting a gathering fit for royalty, we sometimes find our entire day spent running around. Come day’s end, we have not taken the opportunity to sit down with our loved ones and discuss those things for which we are most thankful. A day created by President Abraham Lincoln, a day which he sought fit to spend dedicated to “thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” often ends without its true purpose being recognized.
Depending on the age of your child, asking him what he is most thankful for might land you such answers as: family and friends, toys, puppies, and Elmo. While we we can agree that we all love Elmo, take a moment to reflect with your children on what you are most thankful for. If not Thanksgiving, when is a better time to let your loved ones know how thankful you are to have them in your life?
At this age, most children cannot comprehend “better or worse” when it comes to adult aspects of life, like financial security; however, there are aspects of better or worse in which they can relate. All children understand being sick. You should impress upon your child how thankful he should be regarding their health and the health of their family members.
“give thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
The First Thanksgiving is one of the earliest moments that our children are taught regarding our nation’s history. This was a time in which Native Americans and Pilgrims sat down together to celebrate the Pilgrims’ successful harvest — it was due to knowledge and assistance from the Native Americans that the Pilgrims survived the winter and grew their first successful crop. The Pilgrims were thankful to the Wampanoag tribe for their generosity and honored them with a banquet—the First Thanksgiving. America has come a long way since 1621, but generosity and volunteering have stayed at the forefront of Thanksgiving traditions.
There are many organizations that need volunteers, of all ages, this holiday season. The members of your family all have special talents. Are they using those talents in a way that represents the holiday spirit?
Our annual Costa Rica Service Trip for rising 6th grade boys is one way we teach our boys to learn to give back.
“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion…” 2 Corinthians 9:11
Just as you can express love to your spouse on days other than Valentine’s Day, you can also be thankful on days that aren’t Thanksgiving Day. Get your kids to be vocal about what they are thankful for, and that they should be appreciative for them every single day. Need help getting your kiddos to open up? Try a Thankful Tree. This arts and crafts project will keep them occupied — leaving you the valuable time you need to prepare a meal for thirty-five people—and provide them an outlet to express for what they are most thankful.
“Giving thanks always and for everything…” Ephesians 5:20
Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is a private, Christian preschool and elementary school serving 500 boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade.
With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind, and body of each boy.