Four ways to make Thanksgiving about more
Family. Football. Food. What would Thanksgiving be without them? Gathering with loved ones, eating your favorite dishes, and tossing around the pigskin—it’s all part of what makes Turkey Day so special.
But what if we made Thanksgiving about more?
Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin pie, the Cowboys, and my in-laws. However, if we aren’t careful, our holiday routines can become more of an annual checklist and less of a way to connect with others and share the love of Christ.
This year, why not challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try something new? Check out these four ways to make your late November festivities more meaningful and memorable. Whether you try just one of these or do all four, it will help you refocus, realize how blessed you are, and consider how you can impact the lives of others.
Invite over a non-family member
Not everyone is close to their loved ones, relationship-wise or distance-wise. So, this Thanksgiving, consider opening up your home to someone outside of your family.
Have a new neighbor? Know a Dallas-area transplant? Have a co-worker you’ve worked with for a long time? Reach out to them! It may seem awkward, but it will provide a rewarding experience and help you build a stronger relationship with that person.
If possible, invite them in person, so they know you sincerely want them to come. They don’t need to give you an answer right away, but be sure to follow up a few days later.
Ask, “How is it with your soul?”
This was a question John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, would ask in group meetings. It seeks to dive deeper than the surface level, growing relationships and getting others to open up.
If you want a more updated version of this question, ask, “How are you really doing?” And when young adults or kids are part of your Thanksgiving get-together, be more specific by asking, “How is school really going?” or “How is band really going?”
Also, remember that one key part of posing this question is to genuinely listen to the answers. Focus on the person speaking and be sure to ask follow-up questions as well.
Discuss the ways God has blessed you
What are you thankful for this year? This month? This week? Go around the table during your Thanksgiving dinner and say at least one way in which God has blessed you.
Many families do this already, but it’s important to put God front and center when talking about the source of all your many blessings.
And if you’ve had a difficult time recently or a tough year in general, hold fast to the fact that God loves you. It may seem simple, but it’s an incredibly powerful truth.
Serve in your community
Start a new tradition by serving on or around Thanksgiving. Whether you want to volunteer as a family, with friends, or by yourself, HPUMC has lots of local partners offering a wide variety of ways to use your gifts and transform the world.
You can assist in bagging and distributing food from the North Texas Food Bank, provide and share a meal with homeless neighbors, deliver food to homebound seniors, and so much more.
See all the opportunities to serve at hpumc.org/serve, and have a happy, helpful Thanksgiving!