Thanksgiving Traditions

Posted by Heather Conrad at 2:12 PM

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Greetings to you today! I'm just all aglow today and wanted to take a moment to stop, pause, and reflect on this wonderful time of year. With my belly full of leftover Thanksgiving goodies, Christmas lights aglow, music playing, and fresh air in my lungs from a family walk to the frozen pond, I can't stop myself from typing just one simple word... thanks.

How can one adequately put to words all the thanks and gratitude for the One who created all things? It can't be done. However, I have found at times that in the overflow of "overwhelmingness", my heart can't NOT stop and try to formulate just a bit of the feelings that course through it's veins.

We had the privilege of hosting Thanksgiving with my side of the family yesterday, and as my brothers, sisters, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, nieces, and nephews started to arrive, the warmness of our home rose one notch at a time (literally, I wear a short-sleeve shirt for the occassion and I'm always one to complain about being cold :) I can't tell you how thankful I am for a family who truly loves one another, flaws, imperfections, and differences in all. I am the oldest of five children, and as the littlest one was married this past summer, we all now are blessed with "families" of our own, continuing to multiply each year.

As I reflected on precious time I got to spend with my grandparents, I was reminded of the rich heritage and legacy I have been blessed to simply be a part of. This legacy I'm talking about is one steeped in the only one that can see a family through all the trials and heartaches that life brings along, this one, is the one and only, Jesus Christ. We come from a line of servants, those who have a heart to give of their time and energy to others, and it's a precious gift to grow up around. As with anything, service can be done for oneself, if the one you're serving is not THE ONE, which of course can only stem from a relationship with our heavenly father (but that's another post for another day :)

What I wanted to share today is a tradition that began three years ago. As with most good ideas, it came from someone else's idea. My dear friend Jen mentioned this to me, and with tongue in cheek, was happy this idea flew well with my family, not so well with hers :) Every year now, we each get a leaf. I simply stop by the local Cord Camera, borrow their candy-dandy die cut machine, and punch out leaves of different colors. Each person in the family then chooses a leaf, and simply writes what they are thanksful for. Towards the end of the evening, we all gather and each take a turn reading another's leaf passed out at random - precious words, lots of laughs, a great model for my children as they hear (and now read themeselves) of what is important and special to their extended family members. The following week (or month :) I simply place them on a page with a few pictures and add onto the scrapbook started three years ago. I love watching the faces of family members as they glance back and read over their leaves from previous years. Though we all aren't able to be a part of our daily lives due to distance, somehow it doesn't seem to matter on days like today.

What are your traditions? Afterall, the best ideas are the ones that are shared. Have a great weekend!

1 Chronicles 16:8
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 29:13
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 35:18
I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.