Thankful Thursday: Thanks-giving

Today I am participating in Thankful Thursday (hosted this month by Iris at Grace Alone click on link to see other Thankful posts).

I planned a post, and…In spite of today’s news…I’m going to go on with the plan and say that: I am so thankful to live in this country.  It is (still) the best country in the world, in my opinion.  The way that it was founded, the freedoms that we (at least for now, but I will leave that topic for another day) enjoy: to gather freely to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in our churches, to speak of Him freely on the streets and write and publish what we believe, to read His Word freely in our homes and gather together for Bible Studies, to have the right to vote and participate in non-violent elections without fear of harm, to experience the blessings associated with living in a country founded by men who appealed to the Almighty God for wisdom, knelt before Him in prayer together, and whose writings speak of their deep faith and include much Scripture–these are just a few of the reasons that I am grateful for our country.

We have a holiday coming up in which we stop and, as a country, give thanks, remembering those who sacrificed so much, even their lives, to come here in order to be able to do what we often take for granted, which is to freely worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving, the holiday, and what it represents, sometimes gets overlooked these days. It shouldn’t be.  It is very important to remember and be thankful.

Ephesians 5:20: “…Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”)

Though this marks the first time I’m participating in Thankful Thursday, it won’t be the last. On the next three Thursdays leading up to the holiday of Thanksgiving, I want to encourage us to thankfulness, and give you some tools to use in your home or Homeschool with your children or grandchildren to help you teach them about the first Thanksgiving, while practicing the Godly character trait of thanks-giving. (Homeschooling moms: may I suggest that this would lend itself to an excellent unit study: the subjects of Language Arts, History, and Art at the least, would be included.)

I’m very excited! I have asked my good friend, Bonnie, of “Bonnie’s Books” for her suggestions and I will be sharing with you some wonderful books that you can read with your children to teach them about Thanksgiving, the pilgrims and why we celebrate this holiday! Since most of us, I fear, have only a vague recollection of the facts, or worse yet, have heard so much revisionist history that we don’t know the true story at all, it will be a very fun way for us as adults, too, to remember and be thankful.

The third part of each Thursday post until Thanksgiving here at Faith’s Firm Foundation will be an activity (or activities) that you can do with your children. These will also teach or encourage them to be more thankful.  Please feel free to share any things you have done with your children to teach them about Thanksgiving and being thankful.

Books on Thanksgiving

For younger children:

I’ll start with a wonderful book by Kate Waters, “Sarah Morton’s Day” subtitled “A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl.” There’s a book about a boy, as well, by the same author, “Samuel Eaton’s Day.” There are actual photos from Plymouth Plantation depicting the different activities of a little girl of that time.

Lydia Maria Child’s book on the famous poem “Over the River and Through the Wood” (the song is included in the back of the book)
“The Thanksgiving Story” by Alice Dalgliesh (a wonderful author) and
“The Plymouth Thanksgiving” by Leonard Weisgard

For in-between ages:

“Pilgrim Stories” by Margaret Pumphrey is a classic.

For upper elementary:

“Eating the Plates” by Lucille Penner is one of my favorite’s.  It’s subtitled “A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners.”
“Pilgrim Voices” by Connie and Peter Roop, subtitled “Our First Year in the New World”

An activity:

Each day this week write on a piece of paper or in a notebook, one thing that you’re thankful for (or, if you want, until Thanksgiving).  On Thanksgiving Day, read these aloud to one another!

For younger children, make a turkey out of a paper plate (they may color and add eyes–make as fancy or realistic as they want) for the body and attach feathers around the outer edge (cut out rounded diamond-shaped pieces made of colored construction paper).  On each feather your child will put one thing that he is thankful for.

In their best handwriting, have your child (younger ones can dictate to you) write a short note of gratitude to their grandparents: for their love, visits, letters, gifts, or some attribute of theirs–whatever they want to say. Encourage them to think of things themselves, but be ready with a suggestion or two to get them started. These can be mailed (which teaches this skill) or if celebrating together, can be given on Thanksgiving Day. Grandpa and Grandma will be thrilled.
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