Friday, November 4, 2011

taking back Thanksgiving

I’m thinking about starting a campaign. 

No, I am not running for office.

It’s kind of a grass roots effort, it’ll probably start with a small minority.

I won’t be occupying anything, except my own home.  But, I will be working to make a change.  At least within my four walls.

I think Christmas is wonderful.  The heart of the season is amazing and beyond compare.  But the commercialism of the season is a bit too much.  When Christmas displays start appearing in October or even September I shudder.  I shudder not because I’m a grinch but because of a society that glosses over a heart of thankfulness and pushes straight to a heart of consumerism.  Buying this and that, making wish lists and feeling a need to purchase the latest Christmas decorations all take our focus from what really matters.

But how can we truly embrace the heart of Christmas if we haven’t stilled our hearts long enough to embrace a season of thankfulness?  To mark our days with gratitude and quiet contemplation of all that we have been blessed with.  And what if we spend an entire month focusing on a thankful heart?  Wouldn’t our hearts be like fertile soil, ready to accept the greatest gift of all?

This month I want to be intentional about gratitude.  Yes, I will be preparing for Christmas.  What busy mom isn't?  But I will shift the focus of my heart.  I will focus on who I need to say thank you to and what I need to say thank you for.

Are you interested in joining me?  Here are a few things we’re doing around our house to foster gratitude:
study gratitude, what the word means and how we can act it out
write thank you notes and letters of appreciation to family, neighbors, friends
make a thankful tree, a simple construction paper tree that we’ve taped to the fridge.  each day we all add a leaf with what we are thankful for on it
read Thank you, Sarah (the woman who saved Thanksgiving).  We found it at the library, it’s a wonderful story about a woman who really did save Thanksgiving.  It gives the history of the holiday and is full of delightful drawings.  I cried each time I read it, because it’s that cool of a story
It’s not too difficult to incorporate feelings of gratitude into your regular routine.  The result is what Madame Blueberry of Veggie Tale fame sang of, “a thankful heart is a happy heart.”  It is so true.

So today I want to say thank you to you.  All of you who read and comment here.  I appreciate that you show up and I treasure your comments.  What started out as an effort to keep family up to date on our lives has turned into much more.  Thank you for joining me on the journey.

I'm linking up with Heather today for some lovely inspiration.


  1. Yay! I'll be happy to jump on that train. I was at the PX yesterday and they were playing Christmas carols! I wanted to scream. Can't we get to Thanksgiving? We all KNOW Christmas is coming. It's not like it's a big secret, quit smacking us in the face with it.

  2. ohhhh...I am a HUGE Christmas junkie...I love seeing the Christmas stuff However...I am not a Halloween fan and I feel like Thanksgiving just doesn't get supported...I can ever really find thanksgiving decor or Thanksgiving cartoons to watch with the kiddos...which is why I think I just skip on over to Christmas :)

  3. AJ & I had this conversation this week too! I'm joining the movement, assembling my thankful tree & trying to be intentional about saying thank you to people every day. Thank you for this, Gina! You are an example to me of woman after God's heart & I enjoy the stories, advice, ideas, & wisdom you share here.

  4. So inspiring, Gina! Thank you for sharing the ideas and resources. What a great lesson for your children...and your blog readers. :) I am grateful for your thoughtfulness!

  5. Gina, this is a very insightful message! I think it's not a coincidence that November comes before December. It's amazing how much more we can appreciate a gift when it's received with a heart that's already content, already trusting. I find this gratitude is easy for me to let slip when I start counting what I have against what I want. As I read this, I thought of a few wonderful things others have done for me that have yet to receive Thank-You's. I'm going to write them tonight! Thanks for your insight, dear heart.

  6. I LOVE this! My husband and I were just talking about this. What a great practice to slow down and practice gratitude to prepare for the birth of Christ!

  7. Great post! I'm with you on this one! Thanks for stopping by my blog.....returning the favour! :)

  8. This is awesome Gina!!!!!! I couldn't agree with you more. I'm with you on this and will be changing the message on my blackboard to reflect thankfulness. Love the ideas. When you get here you might just see a tree on our fridge. Dad said tell her "me too." He's going to forward this post to some of his friends as well as family back east. Thanks for putting into action the feelings of so many of us!!!!


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