Fresh Gratitude

Posted by Naomi Vacaro on

Four Unique Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving 
Grace McCready

Most Thanksgiving traditions—at least for Christians—revolve around the “say something you’re grateful for” activity. While this is a great tradition, it can feel cliché or even tedious for those who do it every Thanksgiving. Still, the heart behind this tradition - gratitude - is vital. So, if you’re tired of simply listing off things you’re grateful for, here are four ideas that will hopefully inspire fresh gratitude this Thanksgiving:

1) Pick a worship song to listen to every morning leading up to Thanksgiving.
Regardless of when you read this post—whether it’s a few weeks or a few days before Thanksgiving—set aside a few minutes each morning before Thanksgiving to listen to a worship song. Music can be such a powerful tool to draw us closer to the Lord, so find a song that specifically helps you worship.
If you need some recommendations, I’ve recently been enjoying “Psalm 23” (by Phil Wickham featuring Tiffany Hudson), “Wait” (also by Phil Wickham), and “The Goodness of Jesus” (by CityAlight)

2) Thank someone for having a positive impact on your life.
In several of Paul’s letters, he expressed gratitude for the people who would read them. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2 (ESV), Paul said, “We [Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy] give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
During this Thanksgiving season, think about the people God has placed in your life and how they have strengthened your faith. Then choose one specific person to reach out to - whether you do it in person, over the phone, or even through snail mail - and express your gratitude for the ways that he or she has impacted your relationship with God.

3) Share favorite Bible verses at Thanksgiving dinner.
I recently started working for a Christian organization that translates gospel-centered films into the heart languages of people worldwide. Through my role, I’ve learned how few people groups have the full Bible in their heart language, which has helped me realize what a gift it is to have God’s Word in the language that I read and speak!
To avoid taking Scripture for granted (which is incredibly easy for all of us to do), implement a new tradition of sharing your favorite Bible verse during Thanksgiving dinner and explaining why you’re thankful for that verse.

4) Buy a special gift for someone on Black Friday.
When I was growing up, I especially enjoyed going shopping on Black Friday. It felt like the perfect day to transition from the Thanksgiving season to the Christmas season. It became a fun tradition for me and my family.
If you, too, enjoy finding deals and buying fun stuff on the day after Thanksgiving, consider what you can buy for someone in need. Maybe finances are tough for a neighbor or a friend, or perhaps one of your extended family members is in the hospital. Think about what he or she would appreciate during this difficult time. Even if you just purchase something small for him or her, remember that being kind to others is one way that we can express our gratitude to God for His kindness toward us. 

I hope these faith-filled traditions inspire gratitude and make your Thanksgiving extra special this year!

  Grace McCready enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows. She is the author of Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like. She shares personal stories and Scripture to encourage young women on her blog, Tizzie's Tidbits of Truth.
Gratitude inspiration thanksgiving

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