How to Keep Christ at the Center of Your Thanksgiving This Year


Welcome to our special series, “Keeping Christ at the Center of Your Holidays.”

Over the next few weeks, you get to enjoy the wonderful words of my amazing friends as they share with you creative and practical ways you can keep Christ in the middle of all of your celebrations.

Our prayer is that you will come to know Him, worship Him, enjoy Him, celebrate Him, and share Him with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. People all around us need to know the love of Jesus. May we all be bright “lights” this year – sharing hope to those who need it most!


Thanksgiving…

A time where family and friends gather to remember the abundance of blessings bestowed upon them during the year.

A time where a harvest of food and lighthearted fun is shared around a table.

Where memories are made and the holiday season begins.

Making Much of Jesus At Thanksgiving - Melanie Redd

With all the focus on food, family, activities and Pinterest perfect tables, how much of Jesus do you put your focus on during the season of Thanksgiving?

At our Thanksgiving table, we have a tradition… Every person shares what they are “thankful for” from the past year.

We began this at the very first Thanksgiving we hosted in our home.

Our children were young and they grew up knowing that if there was only one time and one time only, it was at the Thanksgiving table we shared our grateful hearts with one another.

To make it even more fun for the children and to teach them how important being thankful is, we incorporated these fun activities over the years:

THANKFUL JAR

Beginning November 1st, our family would leave a THANKFUL JAR in the middle of the table and every time we were thankful for something during the month, we would write it on a slip of paper and place it in the jar. These would be shared during dessert on Thanksgiving Day. We enjoyed trying to guess who wrote each one.

A THANKFUL TREE

A THANKFUL TREE was made out of items found on a nature walk and we would post what we were thankful for Thanksgiving morning on colored leaves. We would then hang the leaves on the tree branches to be shared after our meal. Even our guests for dinner would participate.

SCRIPTURE PLACE CARDS

SCRIPTURE PLACE CARDS. When the children were older, each child had to find bible verses representing thankfulness and write them down on place cards to set at each person’s table setting. They could be as creative as they wanted to decorate their cards. It was always a joy to see what verses they chose and see their creativity in action.

These were a few ways we taught our children the importance of making much of Jesus during the Thanksgiving season.

It also served as a testimony to extended family and friends who otherwise thought of Thanksgiving Day as just another day. It gave the holiday purpose.

  • What about when Thanksgiving Day is over?
  • Does Jesus and the spirit of thanksgiving remain in your heart?
  • Do you continue to make much of Him as you prepare for Christmas and beyond?
  • Or is He only there once a year at the Thanksgiving table?

Making Much of Jesus At Thanksgiving - Melanie Redd

The spirit of Thanksgiving and making much of Jesus needs to be in our thoughts and hearts every single day.

Giving thanks for not only the big moments in our lives or the answered prayers we spent so much time praying over, but in all the little, insignificant moments that make up our days.

Making much of Jesus when we are preparing dinner and giving thanks for the modern conveniences of cooking a meal.

Making much of Jesus when we are taking a warm shower, giving Him thanks for running water.

Making much of Jesus when our car breaks down and being thankful we have a cell phone to call for help.

Making much of Jesus as we tuck our little ones in at night, thanking Him for the gift of children, when many suffer from infertility.

There is ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL for every day. Click To Tweet

Colossians 3:17

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Here are FIVE WAYS to make much of Jesus as a part of your everyday life:

1} Keep a Thankful Journal.

Write down what you are thankful for every day, giving Jesus the glory.

2} Appreciate Someone.

When you are having a complaining, grumpy day, find one person who you can show a little appreciation to. It can be a kind word or deed.

3} Share the Love.

Offer yourself up to bless other people. Give a gift or make a card for someone who is going through a rough time. Collect items for a food shelf, or donate gently used toys to a shelter.

4} Volunteer.

There is so much need in the world. Even a couple hours a week can make  a difference in a life. Make much of Jesus by giving of your time.

5} Thank God Before You Sleep.

If keeping a thankful journal is not your thing, at least thank God every night before you lay your head down to sleep for three things you are thankful for from your day.

He hears every one of them.

                                    Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
                                    It turns what we have into enough, and more….
                                    It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes,
                                    the unexpected into perfect timing,
                                    and mistakes into important events.
                                                                     Melody Beattie

Making Much of Jesus At Thanksgiving - Melanie Redd

As we gather together this Thanksgiving, let us make much of Jesus in both our heart and our spirit and be the blessed testimony to those He puts in our path.

Let us be grateful for the abundant life He has given in our days ahead. Click To Tweet


*Special thanks to Michelle Streeter for this beautiful reminder to be grateful and to teach our children and grandchildren to be grateful as well! You have blessed us with your message today, Michelle!

Thank you for sharing your heart and your life with us! 


Michelle’s Bio

  • Michelle is married to her husband of 30 years.Making Much of Jesus At Thanksgiving - Melanie Redd
  • Mother to three lovely daughters, all grown up and “Grammie” to her two precious grandchildren.
  • A transitional kindergarten teacher by day she considers it a privilege teaching little ones the love of Jesus along with instilling in them a love for learning.
  • She seeks to let these words guide her in everything she  writes; “Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 NLT



Were you encouraged today?

Would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?

Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?

~ This blog occasionally uses affiliate links and may contain affiliate links. Melanie Redd is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. For more on my disclosure policy, click HERE.

~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~

© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About helloredds@gmail.com

Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

4 thoughts on “How to Keep Christ at the Center of Your Thanksgiving This Year

  1. Thank you, Michelle, for sharing such wonderful ideas for Thanksgiving.
    I loved reading about your family traditions and all of the practical ways you point your family to Christ.
    You are a sweet blessing, and I pray that God will bless you and your family during this holiday season~
    Melanie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *