The Forgotten Holiday

At first I thought this was going to be a good chance to remember some of the ways God has blessed us this past year. And it has. But Quentin also reminded me of the importance of being grateful for everything, even the little things like chairs to sit on or leaves to play in.

Not long ago someone told me I was a Scrooge. Seriously! Scrooge?

My crime? Wanting to celebrate Thanksgiving before we celebrate Christmas.

Yes, I’m one of “those” people. But I do love Christmas. I love Christmas carols. I love manger scenes and diy Christmas decorations. I can’t wait for Christmas lights. I’m just saddened by the way we skip over Thanksgiving.

We spend too much of our lives focused on getting more. Even Christmas, despite our best intentions, tends that direction.

Each year more stores are open on Thanksgiving. More people call it “Turkey Day.” And more schools drop all reference to the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. Even the library won’t talk about Thanksgiving in their story time. No Pilgrims, either. Just pumpkins and scarecrows and turkeys.

I don’t want to follow that trend. So, if it means waiting another month or two to sing “O Holy Night,” I will do it. (Seriously, why don’t we have more beautiful Thanksgiving songs?)

One of the things we started this year to encourage gratitude in our home is a Thanksgiving tree. I made the tree out of brown paper and cut out different colored leaves. In a burst of inspiration, I ran the leaves through the laminator so I wouldn’t have to cut out new ones every year.

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Quentin enjoyed helping me hang up the tree and get the leaves ready. (Isn’t my tree pathetic? I’m the only one in the family who got zero artistic ability. Oh well!)

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Elena is too little to participate, so this has become Quentin’s tree. Each day he picks one thing he’s thankful for. We write it on the leaf  with a dry erase marker and tape it up. At first Quentin needed prompting to come up with things he was thankful for. Now he’s figured out what this is all about. I have to admit, a 3-year-old can come up with some crazy things to be thankful for–like chairs, doors, and leaves. Sometimes I give guidance, but my husband pointed out that if we are teaching Quentin to express thankfulness, we need to let him choose what he’s thankful for. So our list is unusual, to say the least!

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At first I thought this was going to be a good chance to remember some of the ways God has blessed us this past year. And it has. But Quentin also reminded me of the importance of being grateful for everything, even the little things like chairs to sit on or leaves to play in.

Prayer Board

Too often in the futile search for the perfect time, I end up doing nothing at all.

As any mom of young children can, I’m sure, attest, it is so difficult to find a consistent time of any length to spend in prayer.

Too often in the futile search for the perfect time, I end up doing nothing at all.

For some time, I’ve been brainstorming a solution to the problem.

Here is part of the solution. It’s not perfect. However, I can guarantee I spend a considerable amount of time in front of the sink doing dishes EVERY SINGLE DAY!

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Quentin made this simple dry erase board at a Home Depot workshop. It is the perfect size. I can prop it up on the window sill and easily update it with prayer requests. At the very least, it is a reminder of who needs prayer.

I’m really hoping this helps me remember to pray for some of you more often. Even if it is only 2 minutes at a time, it is better than nothing, right? At this stage of my life, every 2 minutes counts!

Do any of you have any strategies that have worked for you? If you have any you’d like to share, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear them (and try some, too!).