As a family with young kids, we constantly strive to instill thankfulness, throughout the year but specifically around Thanksgiving.
The good news for you, and my family, is that I married a brilliant lady, a teacher by trade and fun person by lifestyle. Years ago she found the book, “Thanksgiving, A Time to Remember”, and set up a lesson plan around it. Each night of Thanksgiving week, we read a section, followed by acting it out. The lesson finishes on Thanksgiving, with a final reading and an activity centered on thankfulness, or gratitude.
This great book teaches about the history of the settlers, their faith, and their rocky start with the native people. It is even arranged for different age groups, so you can read/teach older kids or younger or both. The book ends with a Thanksgiving feast, food of all kinds and types; breads, vegetables, meat and desserts!
The gratitude activity is actually based on remembering the year before; the faith to succeed and the scarcity of resources.
Food was so scarce the year before, that in order to make it through the cold winter, settlers were each rationed a few kernels of corn daily. Daily. In remembrance of that tough winter, each of the settlers takes 5 kernels of corn and shares what they are grateful for.
We mimic this activity in our family.
Wherever we are and whoever we are with, we each get five kernels and a fancy sheet of paper. Everyone then writes down and shares five things that they are thankful for. We share our gratitude for what God had done for us and our love for each other. There is also the random mention of Star Wars or Pokémon, but Jesus is well represented. A cup is passed around; as you share your items, you put in your kernels one at a time.
In a time of celebration, our family is reminded that the pies, the food, the football and the naps are not the most important part of this holiday. Rather, these things are an intentional celebration of those things we are thankful for throughout the year.
Your family may have its own traditions that focus on gratitude and thankfulness. Or maybe you don’t and it’s time to start one. Either way, make time to be intentional with your family, and create opportunities to share what is important, what this season is about. This is a great lesson to start the holiday season. They may blow you off at the beginning, but they will see the benefits. May you and yours be gratefully blessed this Thanksgiving season!
Paul (aka Mr. Brouse to kids at MCC) is MCC's Children's Ministry leader, husband to Mindy Brouse and the father of 7.
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Pull out your mixers and aprons! SHINE is looking for people who can donate cakes, or other desserts, for A. Montoya’s Fall Festival! Cakes can be dropped off at the church foyer Friday, October 26 between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Questions? Click here to sign up to bring a cake!MCC is gearing up for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox drive! The mission of OCC is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Last year MCC collected 230 shoe boxes to be gifted to children around the world! Boxes will be available this Sunday, October 21st, in the foyer and the final drop-off date is November 11th! It is a great time to start gathering items to bless children around the world!
Shine also has a unique food pantry at A. Montoya! Kids often go to bed without dinner, come to school too late for breakfast, and aren't sure if there will be dinner that night. We have been asked to create a small food pantry at the school that would contain items like tuna packets, apples, macaroni and cheese, Ensure or Boost, peanut butter crackers, nuts, and the like. The children could keep these items in their backpacks so that they would always have something to keep them going. We are working on putting together a list of items, including gluten-free ones, that we would like to stock the pantry with. Please pray about whether you would like to donate items or money to help keep the pantry stocked year-round!