She’s Grateful: Thanksgiving Traditions, Part III

November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

The bloggers of She’s Intentional and the ladies of Dainty Jewells want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and pray that you are surrounded by your greatest blessings – not things, but the people who make the holiday special. The warmth of friends and family joining together in a time of gratefulness for the way God has blessed them.

My Thanksgiving traditions have always been rooted in history. I was homeschooled for all but three years of my school-life and due to this, every holiday was an educational experience. My mom loved Thanksgiving especially because of the historical and spiritual background of the holiday. Not only did the holiday come about as a time of gratitude to the Indians from the Pilgrims, but also a time of thanks unto the Lord for keeping the Pilgrims alive their first winter in the new world. America. A land of new freedoms of will and religion. Our tradition every year (almost into our teen years) was to dress up for Thanksgiving, either as an Indian or a Pilgrim, and we started quite young and got very into it, going so far as to making our costumes and all the accessories (we had Indian costumes with all the fringe and beads and of course, a basket for my papoose).

turkey cookies

As we used Thanksgiving as a learning experience, my mom gave us room to explore the holiday in our own way through crafts, baking and other creative methods. One of our favorite traditions was making fun desserts in the shapes that surround Thanksgiving: two of which are acorns and turkeys. We’ve made recipes above a few times over the years and they’re always a big hit with adults and kids alike.

nichole arnold

Our next tradition reminds me of the first Thanksgiving and the principle of giving out of your own abundance to others. Nicole’s church and family focuses on giving back, living out Matthew 22:37 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Nicole says this tradition “always puts life back into perspective for me.” You can see from her photo that they accept donations of cash, canned goods and other food to contribute to Thanksgiving dinners, and box up the donations as individual dinners. The church fills with volunteers as they divy up the donations to contribute to needy families in their community. Isn’t that a wonderful way to celebrate your blessings, by pouring them out on others?

Ashley Moss’s family celebrates Thanksgiving with a traditional American meal (Turkey and the fixings), and afterwards, segways into the next holiday by decorating the Christmas tree!  “It’s become such an important tradition to me that on the years we are out of town for the holiday I’m itching to decorate someone’s tree!” Doesn’t her tree look pretty?

ashley  2

No matter what our Thanksgiving traditions are, or how they differ, they all celebrate two things: gratitude and togetherness. After all, it’s not what we’re doing that counts, but the who we do it with.

Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude, starting back in 1621 until now. The Pilgrims invited the Indians to share their harvest gratitude feast with them because they helped keep them alive in their first winter in the new world. I believe Thanksgiving should be a time of sharing, of gratitude and of understanding where our blessings come from. What George Santayana said in 1905 is still true: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Let us celebrate our historical heritage as a nation, as families and most importantly, as Christians.

May you and yours be blessed!