Have you seen the meme about "Merry Thanksgivoween?" The meme has a picture that blends Halloween with Christmas and pilgrim snowman, as well as, a token jack-o-lantern with a pilgrim hat and beard. Really, this implies that being thankful and celebrating that thankfulness to God, is being lost as the holidays merge. Just say NO!
One day, a several years ago, my husband remarked that in the world, Thanksgiving seemed to have become just a day for a big meal and to watch a football game. Lately, the holiday of Thanksgiving has become part of a huge retail weekend before Christmas, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Sadly, many companies have required their employees to work on Thanksgiving evening. This has stolen that time from their employees and their families, just to get a jump start on the biggest retail weekend of the year! This year, due to COVID, many major retailers are dailing back and not making employees work on Thanksgiving night.
Are you tired of Thanksgiving being lost between Halloween and Christmas? We were!
My husband and I desired something more for our family and our homeschool for November. We wanted to Thanksgiving to have its due. Thanksgiving had been instituted as a national day of fasting and prayer, giving God thanks for our bounteous blessings.
Even in lean years and time of great trials, we all have much to be thankful for. Yes, even in 2020! We have been through much trial and tribulation in our own lives, as most of you, dear reader. Remember, God bids us in the Good Book, "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18.
We chose for our family to spend the month of November giving thanks to God. My oldest daughter and I set out to create a family devotional to help celebrate Thanksgiving every day of November. We had already used a Christ Centered Christmas devotional for over two decades. So, we let the Christmas Devotional we had created inspire us in the creation of one for Thanksgiving. We chose for our Thanksgiving devotional to be centered on classic expressions of gratitude and wanted the devotional to be active in our families' lives. So, in 2015 we created this Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional.
There are plenty of poems expressing a humorous part of Thanksgiving and about turkeys that got away. However, we wanted to look more at cultivating hearts of gratitude. We wanted to do as the Pilgrims had done and help our families look pass the vicissitudes and difficulties of life and really focus on the blessings we receive, both great and small.
The Pilgrims who came on the Mayflower had lost so much that first year. Of the one hundred and two Mayflower passengers, forty-five had died that first winter. Yet, they still gathered together and offered up thanks to God.
Can we, who have been so blessed, even in our difficulties, do no less?
We reached into stories and traditions of the past, because we felt they reflected more godly gratitude.
Thanksgiving has also held a special meaning in my family, as my father was born on Thanksgiving Day. This was the last Thursday in November, in 1923. The holiday was changed to the fourth Thursday in November by Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the Great Depression. On the day my father was born, the men in his extended family, in Kentucky, were hunting. It was a day or sadness and gladness. The previous year, two of my grandfather's older brothers had died in an epidemic in Mississippi and these brothers were sorely missed. Yet, this day was a day of gladness. After the men had brought back the game they ad hunt, the women had gathered and prepared the meal. Then after all had eaten dinner, my grandmother went into labor and my father was born.
The Bible passages, poems, hymns, and stories found in this devotional are from a time before my father was born.
Do you want to see your family cherish gratitude more? Would you like your family to look for and recognize the blessings in their lives and be grateful to God, the giver of those gifts? Do you want them to see that Thanksgiving is more than a big meal? Do you want your family to know that real Thanksgiving is found in acts of Thanksliving?
Start a new family tradition! Celebrate an American Thanksgiving all month long, by adding to your thoughts and prayers of Thanksgiving, "Acts of Thanksliving," with A Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional. Each day we have included an "Acts of Thanksliving" activity. These are simple and sweet activities that help us not just give thanks, but live thanks.
We wanted to include some of the Presidential Thanksgiving proclamations, to help us feel the history of our nation in respect to this annual day of fasting and prayers of gratitude. American Presidents have issued more Thanksgiving proclamations than we have days in November. So, we chose to include landmark Presidential proclamations. Yet, we needed to begin with the Pilgrims' proclamation and of course the very first Presidential Thanksgiving proclamation. We also included proclamations after calamities, at the end of major wars, our nation's centennial years, at turns of centuries, and the proclamation during our nation's grieving. We included the proclamation John F. Kennedy signed in early November 1963. He was assassinated the week before Thanksgiving. Instead of reading this proclamation, our nation was mourning and we had just buried our president.
One thing became abundantly clear as we read through these proclamations. We, as Americans have been through many trials, but we had many blessings too. Americans have much to thank be thankful for to our God. He has preserved this nation since its Founding in 1776.
What is A Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional?
A Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional is a 30 Day anthology. The devotional is a 150+ page assortment of daily:
Bible Verses - Old Testament and New Testament Verses
Acts of Thanksliving (activity)
Gratitude Poems or Hymns
The Mayflower Compact - 11 November 1620. Yes, 400 years ago!
The First Thanksgiving Proclamation- 20 June 1676
U.S. Presidential Proclamations or Classic Thanksgiving Stories
While some families may use every entry each year, looking forward to treasured stories, poems, Bible verses, hymns, proclamations, stories, and activities, other families may choose to focus on different entries, customizing for their families. Some families may choose to do this in the evening to end their days on a note of gratitude. Other families may use it in the morning to kick off the day and set a tone of gratitude for the day. Still, other families may choose to do a portion in the morning and save the activity for evening and story for a bedtime story. There is no one right way for this devotional to look. This is your family and you can customize how you do the devotional to meet your changing family's needs through the years.
Provided in printable e-format.
A Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional
Are you tired of Thanksgiving being lost between Halloween and Christmas? Do you want to help your family see that Thanksgiving is more than a feast and a day to watch sporting events?
Start a new tradition! Celebrate Thanksgiving all month long!
A Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional is a 30 Day Anthology
150+ page daily anthology of Bible verses, quotes, poems, hymns, Presidential Proclamations, Classic Thanksgiving Stories, and daily Thanks-living activities.
Created in 2015.
What are people saying?
" I just bought Donna's A Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional... Even though everyone in my home is older, we like to have cool dinner conversations, learn stuff, and celebrate. I know this is going to be PERFECT for that! I downloaded it, all 158 pages because I wanted it in my hands, at the dinner table.
Each day has a gratitude Bible verse, a Thanksgiving quote, a simple Thanksliving activity, a Thanksgiving poem or classic Thanksgiving song, and a Thanksgiving Proclamation or story. How cool is that!!! I put it on the credenza in my daughter's home so they can use it too. During November, I will slip up there right before dinner and borrow it back. (I live in a four-generation home) I am very excited about this and we're all looking forward to having a daily dose of gratitude, Thanksgiving, good conversation, and family activity.
Thank you so much, Donna!!!"
~ Mary Ann J.
If you like this, you will LOVE our Christmas Devotional.