This is the last of 4 posts about Thanksgiving, Advent & Christmas.
Earlier this week I began a series showing how thanksgiving prepares your family for Christmas. Thanksgiving is one of those advent activities we should all be doing as a family. I discussed the idea that you should encourage your children to show thanks during Advent. The beginning of a thankful heart is prayer, praying without ceasing. To continue this idea, you need to look for opportunities to grow thanksgiving in your children’s hearts.
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
Each of these 3 steps are great for kids
1. Start with your Heart
Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21
This goes back to prayer. You should begin your prayers with thanksgiving so your kids can see where your heart is. When you tell God you are thankful, your heart can follow suit.
2. Focus on What you Have (not what you want)
Especially true during Advent, you should be helping your kids focus on what they have, instead of what they may want for Christmas.
Unfortunately, this has been a problem since the beginning of time. Adam & Eve were guilty of focusing on what they did not have. Adam & Eve saw the forbidden tree and wanted it.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate. Genesis 3:6
Help your children take their eyes off the toys & games they don’t have and focus on what God has given them. I mentioned this in my first article when I suggested you keep a thankful list. Each member of your family can keep their own list or you can make a family list of thanks. Either way, this is an opportunity to to thank God specifically for what He has given you.
If you haven’t started your thankful list, do it today. List 5 things for which you give thanks. Add 1 item to your list every day. Today I’m adding our extended family & the support they have shown me these past few months.
3. Interrupt Complaining & Be thankful
I love this idea that I heard from our pastor, Brian Fisher. When his kids are complaining, he will tell them to stop and find something to be thankful. Can’t you see it? Your kids are in the middle of an argument. You ask them to stop. Then, you ask them to say name things they are thankful. This can completely change the course of your kids’ conversation.
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Cicero sums it up here. Being thankful is the above all virtues. You must be thankful to show any other virtue. You must also be thankful as you prepare your heart for Christmas. As you prepare to celebrate Christ coming to earth to save you from your sins. Now, that is the ultimate aspect of being thankful.