Thanksgiving at our house feels much like Christmas, but without the gifts. The Christmas tree sparkles in the entryway; stockings hang over the fireplace. A wooden Nativity sits on an end table, so that little hands can play with it; a glass one nestles in a miniature stable above the stockings, so that older eyes can look and imagine.
Tables welcome our family members with flickering candles and beautiful china. Savory and sweet smells flow from the kitchen, while children laugh and play throughout the house.
Thanksgiving Day provides a specific time to offer thankfulness for the life we have been given in this country—and Christmas follows it with the celebration of the birth of Jesus. I was raised in a home that celebrated with hearty thanksgiving our life and our Savior from the end of Oct. to New Years.
As a mom I like to provide my family with the same atmosphere of whole-hearted thankfulness throughout the holidays. A special Advent book waits for us each evening in the family room during the holidays, and colorful picture books call for small, chubby hands to turn their pages.
Christmas music, delicious smells, flickering candles and special stories say, I love you to my family, and thank you, Jesus, for life in our home. Celebrating whole-heartedly is the best way to say thank you and I love you.
Let’s not isolate Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November, but let’s live it out in an atmosphere of celebration from Oct. 31 to New Years, as we celebrate the life we have been given and the One who came, so that we could live.