Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which is supposed to usher in the Christmas season. However, it seems that in recent years our current culture gets the two celebrations out of order. Christmas music starts in October, decorations are up in November, and the media ads start even sooner. It’s as though Thanksgiving has disappeared; after all, it is not associated with any kind of consumerism. Other than grocery stores and football commercials, the media and marketplace could care less about this special day.
Of course for the Christian, Christmas is a BIG day – celebration of the coming of Christ, our Savior. Yes, Jesus is more important than the pilgrims. However, the order of Thanksgiving coming first is a beautiful way to prepare our hearts for the Christmas season – especially when teaching children the importance of gratitude.
Gratitude is defined as the feeling of being grateful or thankful. We can teach kids what the Bible says in Colossians 2:6-7, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.” If our children are overflowing with thankfulness to God for Jesus and for all the blessings that come from him, their little hearts are primed to turn gratitude into generosity.
This year, let’s help kids start with gratitude and use that as a way for them to see all that God pours out to us through His Son; then as a response – give back to others, counting the act of giving better than receiving.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Kids Ministry Publishing. Jana, her husband, and their three kids moved to Nashville from Austin, Texas where she served as the director of children’s ministry at the west campus of Austin Stone Community Church. Jana brings a wealth of experience and passion for kids, kids ministry, and the local church.