As our world looks more familiar with each day passing, at least in some ways, we think there’s value in reflecting on some of the complexities that the global pandemic taught us. The past two years shook us to our core in more ways than we could’ve imagined. One thing we all walked away with, no matter our demographic, race, or socioeconomic status, was a deep appreciation for our lives and the world around us. We took many things for granted; simple gifts like gathering as a family have been put back into perspective. We were forced to slow down and reevaluate our lives and family dynamics. Now this Thanksgiving, let’s apply what we’ve learned.
We thought it would be a great idea to round up a few traditions to deepen the meaning around our Thanksgiving experience this year. There’s the temptation to “get back to the way things were,” but what if this is the perfect opportunity to create new traditions that leave us feeling connected to each other and the world around us.
We’ve done all of the legwork for you, well, virtual legwork, that is, and rounded up meaningful traditions to honor our faith and world.
1. Give thanks for Creation
As believers, we worship our Creator, not created things; but how often do we pause and give thanks to God for the beautiful world he has created for us? Maybe your tradition has been gathering in the house and eating as much food as humanly possible, make this year different! Maybe this Thanksgiving, explore nature with family and experience God’s creation, or find a way to be a blessing to others and experience God’s love for them.
2. A Global Thanksgiving celebration
We are such a blessed nation and live far better than most of the world. With that in mind, challenge yourself to learn about other traditions and celebrations. Different cultures embrace traditions and practices but share the sentiment of gratitude and love. Through learning and sharing different Thanksgiving traditions, we can learn from each other, appreciate one another, and maybe bring a new level of appreciation into our homes and community. Step outside the box this year and create a global Thanksgiving feast inspired by the various stories and inspirations around the world. You may discover more to be grateful for this season than you think. Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)– As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
3. Communion + The Bread of Life
Thanksgiving is a beautiful time to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus through the practice of Holy Communion.
“Each time we observe the ordinance of communion, we are not only remembering what He did for us, but we are “showing” it as well to all who watch and all who participate. Communion is a beautiful picture of what happened at the cross, what it means, and how it impacts our lives as believers. It should be often enough to renew focus on Christ without being so often that it becomes routine. In any case, it’s not the frequency that matters but the heart attitude of those who participate. We should partake with reverence, love, and a deep sense of gratitude for the Lord Jesus, who was willing to die on the cross to take upon Himself our sins.”
We also found some fantastic homemade dinner roll recipes that include a strip of Scripture in each roll. After breaking open the dinner rolls, some families read their scriptures out loud at the dinner table. This tradition allows for a moment of reflection on the living word and its power for the entire family.
Oldie but goodie! Find a local shelter or organization like the Los Angeles Dream Center, that you can partner with to feed underserved communities during the Holidays. No matter how cliche it may feel, blessing others during the holidays is always a life-changing experience; we always walk away with a renewed perspective of gratitude.
5. Thanksgiving Tree
Sharing heartfelt emotions can be challenging for some family members, don’t let that be a barrier this holiday season. Create a beautiful moment of gratitude, where everyone can share their thoughts comfortably. Cut out paper leaves and have relatives write all that their grateful for or a special memory on the leaf. They can submit their leaf anonymously if that’s more comfortable. Have the host, or that extroverted family member, read each leaf aloud for everyone. This tradition guarantees intimate discussions and a pleasant stroll down memory lane. 2 Corinthians 2:14– But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
6. Shop Local + Give Local
We all love a good Amazon Prime delivery at our doorstep in the morning, especially when you just placed the order from bed the night before. This holiday season, support your community and shop local. Shopping local takes intentionality and excellent organization skills, especially during the holidays; however, it is worth it. Shopping locally makes such a difference for small businesses and their families during this time of year. For those awesome cyber deals or the convenience of a rushed digital order, you can also always give back when shopping on Amazon through Amazon Smile and select the charity of your choice, like the Los Angeles Dream Center.
We cant wait to see all of the fantastic things you have planned for the holiday season. Be sure to tag us in all of your creations.