Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year where we can focus on what we are grateful for. One of the greatest gifts we have is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the blessings of the gospel in our lives. Sometimes, we can forget to praise God and cultivate gratitude as we eat delicious turkey and participate in Black Friday shopping. By incorporating some of these Christ-centered Thanksgiving traditions into your celebrations, you can enhance the spirit of gratitude in your life and carry it with you throughout the year.
Create a gratitude wall in your home. It can be a large piece of paper, a whiteboard, or other large writing space. Leave out writing utensils and have everyone write down what they are grateful for as they come to mind. You can set it up before Thanksgiving so you can be thinking about gratitude all month long or you can put it up on Thanksgiving and have it be a family activity for the day. It will be heartwarming to see all the things your family is grateful for and it will also be a great reminder that we are more abundantly blessed than we realize.
The people in our lives are irreplaceable. We are grateful for family, friends, neighbors, church leaders, teachers, and so many others! This fun activity will not only help you feel grateful but serve. Sit down and create “gratitude grams.” They are notes telling someone why you are grateful for them. Make them simple or elaborate, but go and deliver them in person. If you don’t have time to deliver them, feel free to send them in the mail.
If you feel so prompted, we also suggest writing your testimony as a missionary opportunity. Share your gratitude for the gospel with others.
It isn’t always easy to remember that we have much to be grateful for. Gratitude stones are meant to be a reminder. Gather stones from nature and wash them off or purchase some from a craft store. Paint hearts or other decorations on them. Then, carry the stone around with you. Each time you feel it in your pocket or touch it in your purse, you can be reminded to think of your blessings. Make them each year and write the Thanksgiving date on the back of the stone. Over the years, you’ll be able to look back and remember not only making them with your family but the many blessings you have enjoyed.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.