How to Survive the Holidays

Focus on Being more thankful


More and more our Thanksgiving holiday has been eclipsed by the commercial focus on the upcoming Christmas season. By October, merchants line their shelves with Christmas goods, and TV and newspaper ads remind us that Black Friday and Christmas are just around the corner.

The distractions of the season are ever present, but one way we can focus on what is really important is to increase our “thankfulness.” I’m challenging myself to purposely begin my prayer time each day with thanksgiving for all the blessings God has given me.I love Max Lucado’s idea: “Create a trophy room in your heart. Each time you experience a victory (or blessing) place a memory on that shelf.”

One way to practically do this is to keep a “thankfulness journal” during the months of November and December. We can use a notebook, or there are even apps available for our smart devices called “Journals of Thankfulness.”

This is also a great season to help our children create their own journals of thankfulness. Younger children can draw pictures or use stickers to show what they are thankful for. Older children might find using an app to be a fun way to record their thankfulness.

Have each person share one thing from their thankfulness journal when the family is together, perhaps at the evening meal. You might even make a fun game of it. Create a “Charades” type game where each person acts out what the are thankful for while the rest of the family guesses.

Another idea is to use a small Christmas tree during the month of December to display “thankful ornaments.” Provide a box of craft materials and encourage family members to create their own unique ornaments of “thankfulness” to put on the tree.

Throughout the Bible, God instructed His people to celebrate various holy days each year to remember His great wonders of deliverance and blessing. Let’s enter this holiday season with a deliberate focus on “thankfulness” for all God has done for us.


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