Operation: Thanksgiving Rescue

A Guest Post by Robyn Phillips:

Walking through a popular retail store recently, my firstborn made a wise observation.  He asked, “Mom, why doesn’t this store celebrate Thanksgiving?” 

I curiously asked my son, “Why do you ask?” 

He said, “Well, last week Halloween decorations were everywhere and now there are Christmas decorations.”

I’m sure we all have noticed our culture seems to be overlooking and often undermining the one holiday that causes us to acknowledge our Creator and give thanks. 

My son’s comments fueled my burden and desire to somehow rescue this rapidly vanishing holiday we call Thanksgiving.

As a mother of five children, year after year I feel a sense of desperation each November.  I feel the dread of knowing that Thanksgiving will slip by and my family will truly miss it again. 

Sure, we will get together with family and friends and have a wonderful meal, but will we experience true Thanks-Giving? 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to make much progress building the value of Thanks-Giving into my children’s hearts, while they are being distracted with questions of “What do you want for Christmas?” or toy catalogs constantly fueling discontentment. 

I truly want my children to understand that Thanksgiving is not just about FOOD or Black Friday shopping!  Can I get a witness? : ) 

So, how will I attempt to rescue Thanksgiving for my family this year? 

By God’s grace, I am commencing Operation:

Thanksgiving Rescue!!!

1.   Prayer!  I am praying that God will put true Gratitude into all of our hearts.

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
— Matthew 21:22

2.   Christmas shopping before November! 

Now this one was a challenge for me, because I am definitely a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas shopping. 

This is the first year I have EVER Christmas shopped before November.          But, my Thanksgiving Rescue mission is definitely benefiting because of this one major decision!

First, by gathering my children’s wish lists ahead of time it eliminated the constant flow of “I want, I want, I want…” from our November conversations!!!

I also, can freely deposit the arriving Toy catalogs quickly into the trash, without feeling any Mommy guilt.  Discontentment truly is a huge part of the Thanks-Giving Battle! 

It’s challenging to pull off Gratitude in the midst of Coveting! There I said it!!! : )

Plus, I am able to enjoy Thanks-Giving minus the shopping stress!

3. The kids are so excited because tomorrow, we are putting up our first ever Thanks-Giving Tree! 

I think this is really going to benefit the mission because things that are visible make holidays REAL for children. We love Christmas and it has always been very real to my children!

I believe the visible aspects like the nativity, tree, decorations, and wrapped gifts have enhanced the REALNESS of Christmas for my children. 

Our Thanks-Giving Tree will be very simple, yet it will make a visible impact. We will set up our Christmas tree minus the Christmas decorations. 

Our “Thanks-Giving” decorations will consist of two kinds of paper leaves: “Thanks” and “Giving”.

- “Thanks” leaves will be where we list our individual blessings.

- “Giving” leaves will be added each day as the children “give” of themselves to others through small gifts, kind acts of service, and encouraging words.

4. Lastly, we are enjoying reading a 7-day interactive devotional called “Growing Together in Gratitude” by Barbara Rainey.

My prayer is that Mothers everywhere will be inspired to join me—in your own family’s way—to Rescue Thanksgiving this year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s All About HIM,

Robyn Phillips