Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

When Feeling Thankful is Hard

What the World Needs Now

Sure, the world needs love, but seriously what the world needs now is more people with grateful attitudes. I’m afraid we’ve become complainers, at least in this country. I’m challenging myself to look for the good no matter what. I’ve faced some tough situations, and am currently facing some, but they aren’t things I can change, so I try to talk myself into focusing on what’s good about these things. Or at least, what good can be found.

The World Needs More Thankfulness Click To Tweet

Making the Decision

“If we think that impressive food, decorations, and presents constitute celebration, we will miss out on an important spiritual practice that will draw us toward the joyful heart of God.”~Deeply Loved by Keri Wyatt Kent

I took way more than 40 days to finish a 40 day devotional called Deeply Loved by Keri Wyatt Kent. But the important thing is I did finish it, today, two days before Thanksgiving. The last  chapter was titled Celebration and she spoke about Thanksgiving. I wrote down in my journal a couple of things she said that spoke to me. (I started this post a few days before I read this chapter. A coincidence that I was thinking about these things and then read this? Probably not.)

“…celebration is not restricted to times when everything is going perfectly.”

The quote above reminds me of The Grinch.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
― Dr. SeussHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!

So the celebration will come, how I respond is up to me. Keri drove that point home in Deeply Loved when she wrote:

“By choosing to be grateful, to celebrate and be joyful, we begin to feel thankful for what we do have, and to transform our attitude about life’s challenges. The discipline of celebration ushers in joy.”

#Feelinggrateful!

What You Should Talk About Around the Thanksgiving Table

photo by NealeA

photo by NealeA

Conversations That Matter

No, not politics or even religion. Not currently, anyway. Holidays are often the only times we get extended family together, so you should take advantage of the opportunity to build the story of your family’s heritage and then preserve it. Here are some things you definitely should talk about.

photo by Anne Helmond

photo by Anne Helmond

Your Traditions

You did not all grow up at the same time. At least I’m assuming you’ll have multiple generations present, as most people do. Did you always have turkey? Were there Thanksgiving services at the church? When did everyone start watching football? Prompting with just a few questions can  ignite some stories that might have otherwise been lost.

Who Was Invited to the Dinner?

photo by Brecken Pool

photo by Brecken Pool

Was there a kids table? Did you ever invite the neighbors? Who was the most unique guest you’ve ever had at your table? Were there special events this time of year that encouraged generosity? Has anyone ever been on the receiving end of someone’s act of good will? Asking questions like these will give younger generations a picture of the family’s hospitality and perhaps encourage them to continue the practice.

Have You Ever Tried to Cook a Frozen Turkey?

I imagine every family has had some Thanksgiving cooking disaster. Confessing these might be humorous. On the other hand, these stories might help to show that no one’s perfect and mishaps in life happen to us all. It’s the journey that’s important.

photo by Robert Jack 啸风 Will

photo by Robert Jack 啸风 Will

Record the Stories

These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling, but when people start talking be sure to either write down the stories or record them on video. The time will come when seats are empty at your table. Save those stories while you can. For more ideas on conversation starters, see this article from Family Tree Magazine.

photo by Chris Phillips

photo by Chris Phillips

Happy Thanksgiving!

Macy Day Parade

Guest Post by Tamera Kraft

I will be guest posting over at Tamera’s blog today. Please click here.

Macy's Thanksgiving

Photo by gigi_nyc

Macy Day Parade has become a tradition on Thanksgiving Day. My earliest memories of Thanksgiving were watching the parade and waiting for Santa to appear. Every child in my school knew that the real Santa was the one who appeared in the parade. But did you know that when the Macy Day Parade first started in 1924, it took place on Christmas Day? Store workers dressed as clowns, cowboys, and other characters and walked the entire six miles hike from Herald Square to Harlem. Professional bands and the Central Park Zoo along with their animals joined them in the parade. Santa rode into Herald Square at the end as he has every year since.

The parade was meant to bring attention to the Macy’s Store in downtown New York City, and it worked. The first year, 250,000 people showed up. After that, it was an annual event in the city that continued to grow even during the Depression. The first radio broadcast of the parade was made in 1932, and the first TV broadcast was made as early as 1938.

Balloons have been a part of the parade, almost since the beginning. In 1927, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company from Akron premiered their first parade balloon, Felix the Cat, but he wasn’t filled with helium until the next year. In the early years, people didn’t bother to deflate the balloons. They would release them into the air with an address attached. Rarely were the balloons returned. Mickey Mouse made his debut in the 1934 parade, and Bullwinkle first appeared in 1961. Today over a dozen large balloons are in the parade.

Floats were in the first parade and also had a large part over the years. Floats were still drawn by horses until 1939. Snoopy holds the record for the most floats. More than thirty parade floats are now featured in the parade.

The Macy’s Day Parade, although very popular in New York City, gained popularity throughout the nation after the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, was released in 1946. In Miracle on 34th street, the real Santa Claus steps in to replace a drunk Santa and decides to be Macy’s Store Santa to help fight commercialism.

But the Macy’s Day Parade didn’t always have smooth sailing. In 1942 through 1944, the parade was cancelled because rubber and helium were needed for the war effort. After the assassination of President Kennedy, the parade went on as scheduled to boost the morale of the nation. In 1971, heavy rains forced the parade to ground all balloons.

Today, over 8,000 people participate in the Macy’s Day Parade and over 3.5 million are expected to attend. It has become, not just a New York City Thanksgiving tradition, but a tradition for all of the United States of America.

Author Tamera Lynn KraftTamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.

Tamera is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com

Revival Fire For Kids Blog: http://revivalfire4kids.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TameraLynnKraft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tamerakraft

Tamera’s Latest BookA Christmas Promise by Tamera Lynn Kraft

A Christmas Promise:

A Moravian Holiday Story, Circa 1773

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.

When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas.

Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Available at these online stores:

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GM59GN4/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Pelican Book Group

http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_47&products_id=512

Christian Books.com

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=48711EB&item_code=WW&netp_id=1206746&event=ESRCG&view=details

3 Top Reasons to Hunt the Good Stuff

Why Your Attitude Matters

A few weeks ago I attended an all-day meeting for families with deployed soldiers. I was just thinking that what I learned there is very appropriate for Thanksgiving week, so this a reminder for me, but just in case it’s also helpful to you, I thought I’d share.

One of the presenters showed us this video of a father and son.

She used it as an example of hunting the good stuff. Sure, there are lots of obstacles in life. This boy wanted to run. He asked his father to help him, and he did. Can you think of a better example of not giving up a dream? If we hunt the good stuff, which is another way of saying look on the bright side, find what you can do instead of lamenting what you cannot, how much better will our lives be?

Here are three reasons it’s a good idea to hunt the good stuff.

1. If you hunt the good stuff, you’ll find it.

The Good Stuff!

photo by scribbletaylor

 

 

A defeatist attitude will only get you that, defeat. Looking for what’s good, beautiful, inspiring, however, can only make life better. Reminds me that we’ve been told this before:

 

 
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.–Philippians 4:8

And good attracts more good. Here’s what I mean. Say you’re having a bad day. You’ve misplaced your keys, you can’t find your favorite jeans so you had to settle for something else, you forgot your computer password, and the coffeemaker broke. Bad day, huh? Suppose you

Attitude is contagious

photo by ayadi othmane

decide instead to hunt the good stuff. You have a job. You have choices of clothing in your closet. You will save your password in the future, so you’ve learned a valuable lesson. These are SMALL things, but they add up. If you keep that bad attitude, guess what you’ll keep experiencing the rest of the day? But if you choose to look for the positive, guess what you’ll find then?

2. You’ll bring others with you.

Nothing is worse than a pity party. Sure, there is a lot in this world to be down about. There is a lot to scary you silly. But dwelling on those things causes not only anxiety, but also causes you to miss what’s truly good, not to mention the affect it has on everyone around you. Don’t be that Debbie Downer-type. Choose to encourage and inspire instead. (That’s what I would like to do, anyway. I’m trying!) And think about what a difference you could have in the lives of others if you hunt the good stuff more often than not. The people around you will begin to do the same thing. It works both ways, in my experience.

3. You will lessen the pain of the bad stuff.

And who doesn’t want that? Count your blessings. You have them, I’m sure. Have you counted them lately?

What are you most grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Blessings quote

photo by BK