We are just now getting to the fun ages with our children(1,2,5) in which we get to begin some pretty fun family traditions revolving around special holidays. I am very careful to make sure that any tradition we choose for our little family of five, points clearly and directly to Our Heavenly Father. Though Thanksgiving "should" be an extremely easy holiday to point to Jesus, it's a little hard to get preschoolers to acknowledge what giving thanks is all about. How do you get kids to realize that gratitude is more than just saying "thank you"? I've pondered this question for a couple of years now, and I would like to share with you today our "new" family Thanksgiving tradition!
The day before Thanksgiving always seems to be a rush! The house begins to smell of delicious food, the sink is piled high with dirty dishes, and you have to decide what to do with the kids that are usually stuck in the house with you due to cold weather! What to do? Should you decorate for Chirstmas while you have the extra "help"? No, silly! It's Thanksgiving! Celebrate Thanksgiving! Here's how we do it Evatt style:
Everyone is welcomed to the kitchen, and it's time to get messy! (We're all so good at that!) We bring out the biscuit dough, the cinnamon and the sugar, and MAKE DOUGHNUTS! No themed conversation while cooking; we just have fun together! Instead of shewing them out of the kitchen, they are welcomed to come on in and just have fun! Later in the day when we sit down to share our delicious snack that we worked together on, I share this quote with them and elaborate:
"While traveling through this life
make THIS your goal,
always look at the doughnut
and NOT the hole!"
Sadly, too many times, we center our lives around the "have's" and the "have not's"! Yes, there are many things we do not have in life, some material others not, but if we keep our eyes on the things that we do have and remain thankful for them, the sweeter life becomes! Have you ever tried to fool your children into eating the hole of the doughnut? So funny! Not much there to eat, and the taste is rather...well, bland! But the gooey goodness of the doughnut is the part around the hole! Each time I hear my five-year old daughter complain about something she doesn't have, I like to make her tell me a few things that she DOES have instead! Kids tend to be very materialistic, but with an afternoon discussing the things we do have and how we are thankful for them, you might realize (like I did) that we, the adults, may have passed down that trait!
Spend some "doughnut time" with your kids, or maybe even with your spouse! Reflect first on the doughnut, not the hole! Be thankful for the "have's", instead of being in despair about the "have-not's". We have a lot to rejoice and be thankful for!
"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens." (James 1:17)
After you have "fully" examined the blessings, then reflect on the hole (the have not's) together. Discuss how certain things are cut out of your life, and the obviousness that God may not allow for you to have certain things in life! For children, it's hard to for them to understand why such a good God would not allow for them to have certain things. I like to explain it this way: If the doughnut didn't have a hole, it wouldn't rise properly! it would be all doughy in the middle and probably ruin the enjoyment of the entire doughnut. Such is the same with us; the Lord knows the things the need and the things we don't need. He knows even the things that we DO NOT need to help us grow as Christians! Even though "have not's" can sometimes be painful and dissappointing to us, God sees what we need to rise(grow) and be a sweet success in the end! Our job is to rejoice and give thanks through it all!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Rejoice always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
It's funny how a doughnut can get kids talking, but it worked for me!
If you think you and your family may enjoy this activity, here is the link to the doughnut recipe! I've also included a fun way to use the doughnut "holes" if you're like me and don't like to be wasteful!
|Use your doughnut holes too!|
Just because I'm nosy, what Thanksgiving traditions does your family have?
Leave a comment below and let me know!
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