A Thanksgiving Full of Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday! Unlike Christmas, which sometimes gets swamped with busyness and over-run with materialism, Thanksgiving always gives us the opportunity to count our blessings and find ways to bless others. Five Thanksgiving Ideas for Your Family

1. Make a Thanksgiving tree with a simple painted branch placed in a vase full of acorns. Trace each family member's hand and make a "name ornament" from their tracing. Use a different color for each person and then have them make little "Thankful Leaves" in their color to hang on the tree.

2. Begin building traditions. Foods that "we always have" help to build strong memories and secure families. Assign a certain dish to each family member and have them make that dish each year. Take pictures each year and compare yearly results.

3. Host a Thanksgiving dessert. Find the folks who have nowhere to go over Thanksgiving and invite them for dinner or dessert. Spend time sharing thankful thoughts with one another. Bake lots of pies and send pieces home with singles and older folks.

4. Begin dinner with a piece of candy corn for each family member. Before praying, have each person share one thing for which they are thankful. When everyone has shared, eat your candy together.

5. Remembering the past builds confidence for the future. Find good Thanksgiving books and read them aloud. Look for books by Alice Dalgliesh and Barbara Rainey. Just for fun ... watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Five Thanksgiving Ideas to Reach Out to Others

1. Find a local organization that is hosting a Thanksgiving meal for the needy. Donate food items and spend time serving together as a family.

2. Fill food baskets and deliver them to families that may not have as much as you.

3. Start a shoebox of little gifts to distribute at Christmas.

4. Spend time on Thanksgiving Day planning a Christmas Bible club. Brainstorm what games you will play, what snacks you will make, and what Bible story and memory verses you will use.

5. Deliver cookie plates to your neighbors.

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With a Ph.D. in Parenting and Character Development, Steve Scheibner along with wife Megan, write and lecture extensively, sharing their "Parenting Matters; The Nine Practices of The Proactive Parent," reaching thousands of parents at their conferences and through their books and resources. As parents of eight children, both Steve and Megan have popular blogs where they write about parenting, character-development, and men's and women's issues. Megan is also the author of several books including In My Seat: A Pilot's Story from Sep. 10th to 11th. For more information, visit their website at characterhealth.com.