Over the years I have had multiple Thanksgiving cooking disasters. Always with the turkey. The first time I tried to cook a turkey I was 16 and I dropped the raw turkey onto the floor while trying not to throw up after pulling out the guts. I didn’t try to cook turkey again for 10 years.
After a decade I decided to give it another try. After all, turkey was on sale for 50 cents a pound. What did I have to lose. By this time I wasn’t as grossed out by the process of preparing the turkey, but while it was cooking, oh my word did it stink. We opened all of the windows to air out our apartment, freezing ourselves with the wintery air. By the time the turkey (the dry, flavorless turkey) was done none of us wanted to eat it.
Last year I desperately wanted traditional Thanksgiving food, so I tried one more time. This time I consulted Pinterest. I probably read 20 articles about cooking the “perfect” Thanksgiving turkey. If it didn’t work this time, I would probably never cook a turkey again. I followed the directions the best I could, said some prayers, and by some miracle the turkey turned out. Not dry. No weird smell. Just a nice, classic turkey. Woohoo!
While I love Thanksgiving food, the thing I enjoy most about this time of year is the spirit of gratitude. As we enjoy food, family, football, and fall weather, I want to teach my kids to be thankful for all that we have and enjoy in this life.
Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (ESV)
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“Give thanks” appears over 70 times in the Bible, and many verses are exactly the same as the one above. I think there’s a reason this command is repeated so often throughout scripture. Our hearts naturally become dissatisfied. As we dwell on difficult circumstances, relational conflict, and even the massive problems of this world, we can quickly forget to focus on the beauty and blessings of life.
Thanksgiving Gratitude Pumpkin Craft
Through this kids project I wanted to create a visual reminder for my children of all of the things they are grateful for. I love this gratitude pumpkin craft because it’s easy, it’s personalized, and it turns out beautiful enough to display on any Thanksgiving table. A great Bible passage to study along with this craft is Psalm 136. Throughout this passage the psalmist writes a list of things to be thankful for. Each verse ends with the words, “for his steadfast love endures forever.” As you are putting together this craft, talk about the different ways God has shown his never-ending love to us. What do we have to be thankful for? How can we give thanks to the Lord?
What You’ll Need:
- 2 copies of our template printed on orange card stock
- A half sheet of green card stock or construction paper
- One green pipe cleaner
- Hole punch
- A dark colored marker
- (optional) Tape
- Cut out two sheets of orange paper strips from the template.
- Trace your hand on green paper and cut it out.
- Using the hole punch, punch holes on each end of the paper strips and one on the handprint.
- Write “I am thankful for” on the handprint. You can also write your name.
- Write things you are thankful for in the middle of each paper strip.
(instruction continue below)
- Stack all of the paper strips together, text side up.
- Line up the holes and feed the pipe cleaner through the hole.
- Bend the pipe cleaner to make a “T” shape (pictured below). You could also bend and tape the pipe cleaner to secure it to the bottom.
- Bend the stack of paper strips and feed the pipe cleaner through the top. (pictured below)
- Put the handprint leaf onto the pipe cleaner.
- Bend the pipe cleaner to secure it and tape it in place if you like. Curl it around a pencil or your finger to create the “vine.”
- Unfold the paper strips to create the pumpkin (pictured below).
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