It’s just a simple box on the closet shelf of our bedroom, but it holds years of memories.
I first got the idea to incorporate the “Thanksgiving Box” into part of our family holiday tradition when our children were quite young. One year, after our Thanksgiving dinner, I gave each of the children a sheet of paper and a pencil, and I asked them to write down the top five things they were grateful for. This was not a pressured activity to think of the best things, nor was it a competition to see who could come up with the most. It was simply an exercise to write down what God had done for us. Terrie and I wrote our own lists as well. When everyone was finished, we put our lists into the creatively-named “Thanksgiving Box.”
The following year, we repeated the tradition. Only this time, we gave each child their list from the previous year to read before writing a new list. They enjoyed remembering the blessings of the previous year, and their old lists helped to ignite their gratitude for writing a new list.
Over the years, the time we spent with the Thanksgiving Box drew us closer as a family and deepened each of our awareness of God’s blessings.
As all of our children are now grown, the Thanksgiving Box is retired. But it’s not forgotten. I often pull the box off the closet shelf and pull out a few of the early lists my children wrote. It’s refreshing to see how little it took to make them thankful—“Dad, Mom, a Christian school, turkey, friends…”—blessings that we daily take for granted. Reading their lists reminds me anew of how much God has done for me. Invariably, I find myself thanking God for His daily blessings in my own life.
Perhaps your family would find a Thanksgiving Box helpful. Or perhaps, you simply need to take a moment to reminisce over God’s great blessings in your life. Don’t let this Thanksgiving pass without specifically thanking God for His goodness.
Get posts delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe today and receive a FREE minibook download: Striving Together for the Cause of Christ.