Can You and Your Spouse Save Thanksgiving? (Part II)
By Dave Boehi
Hopefully, you and your spouse have taken some time to discuss the way you celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are some specific ideas to save it from becoming just another day.
1. Declare a digital holiday. Digital technology—especially the smartphone—has changed the way we relate. For at least your immediate family, talk about good tech boundaries a few days before. On Thanksgiving, put all phones in a basket. Kindly suggest guests do the same.
2. Don’t make football your highest priority. Dozens of games hit television weekly. But this opportunity for family is rare.
At the very least, plan the meal and activities so they won’t be crowded by football. Consider recording the game to watch later.
3. Start the day by spending some time with God together. Read through Psalms that talk about giving thanks to God: 50:14; 69:30;95:2; 100:4; 147:7. Focus on Psalm 9:1. Write down ways that God has worked in the lives of you and your loved ones. Save your list.
4. Together, make it a mission to let the people you love know you’re grateful for them. Few things are more encouraging than hearing someone say, “I’m so glad God put you in my life.”
5. Get intentional with activities. Give your dinner mates something better to do than watch football—especially kids as they build relationships with extended family: Play games outdoors or inside. Create crafts. Go on a hike. Serve at a shelter.
6. At dinner, remember more than food. Consider a kraft paper tablecloth for guests to write their thanks; or simply pass around index cards. You could share your list from #3. Read Scriptures about giving thanks, and then ask, “What’s one thing new you’re thankful for?” If appropriate, talk about something difficult from the last year, and express your thanks. It’s an expression of trust in Him—and that’s good for all of us.
This is a good opportunity to ask older members of the family to tell stories about family history. Or Google “Thanksgiving conversation starters.”
7. Save shopping. You can shop anytime. Why do it on one of the few occasions when you gather family and friends to celebrate?
Saving Thanksgiving for your family will require commitment, teamwork, and discipline. But it’s worth it.
The good stuff: I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)
Action points: Pick two ways from the list above for you and your spouse to “save Thanksgiving” as a meaningful, Godward holiday. Make this the year that you start a new Thanksgiving tradition focused on what really matters.
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