Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Learning To Be Thankful

My friend Esther over at Content Whatever the Circumstances wrote a great post today about preparing for Thanksgiving and learning to be thankful.  It was so great that I am going to copy her idea with my own family.

She set out a basket with little pieces of paper where any one who is in her house can write down something they are thankful for and then slip it into the basket.  By Thanksgiving she is hoping it will have over 300 blessings recorded.

Every year around this time I start to go into "grumpy Christmas" mode.  This is where I am suddenly annoyed by all TV commercials that try to get me or my kids to want things that we don't need.  Where I refuse to let my children look at the sale ads in the paper because every object that looks remotely like a toy instantly becomes a "must have" on their Christmas list.  I made the mistake of letting my girls get to the Sunday paper first this past weekend where the Great Big Toys R Us Book was waiting.  My normally sweet girls instantly turned into a pack of greedy vultures within seconds.

Last year I became so disgusted with the consumerism targeted at my kids that resulted in endless begging for new toys, I pulled the plug on the TV for the months of November and December.  They were the best months ever and we never really returned to the TV.  I subscribed to Netflix and we check out movies from the library and that's what my children watch.  Rarely we will turn on the TV and watch something as a family--usually always sports.  (We're currently working on brainwashing our children to be Michigan State fans which may be working too well.  Today during Bible class when we discussed loving our enemies, David gave the example of loving Michigan fans.  When I asked if he loved his Uncle, he said yes.  When I mentioned that said Uncle is a Michigan fan, his face registered surprise and he was no longer so sure of his love anymore.  Oops.)

While my efforts proved to be highly successful in curbing the toy lust last year, this year I want to take it one step further and attempt to foster a sense of contentment and thankfulness for what they do have.  Hence why Esther's blog post resonated with me so strongly.

I have my own basket and blank note cards sitting out on the table waiting for the blessings to be written down from now until Christmas.  On Christmas morning when we have our family Christmas, before opening our presents, I will pull out the basket and read all of our blessings so we can remember the many ways that God has already blessed us this season.      

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