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Encouragement for Thanksgiving: Stop to Give Thanks Now

Inside: Words of encouragement for Thanksgiving and preparing for the holidays.

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A countless display of emails, lights, and junk mail is already overloading our senses and reminding us the holidays are near.

Christmas tends to be considered the holiday right after Halloween these days.

Thanksgiving often seems to get skipped over, like a leftover meatloaf.

But are we missing the point? Might Thanksgiving be the most important holiday?

2019 had to go on a long road trip with my sister and four-year-old son to my grandmother’s memorial service. During the long twelve-hour trip back home, we found the website, The Mandagies, which provided us with 101 random and unique questions. Those last few hours of time flew by. (Side note, if you’re with someone you know really well, you could try and guess what the other person’s answer will be!)

A question that stood out to me was: What’s your favorite holiday? While not a unique question, several seconds of silence filled the air before I responded.

Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

Now, I love Christmas and everything it stands for. I love the Christmas spirit and the boundless opportunities to serve. (Check out this post for some simple ways you can share kindness!)

Additionally, I love seeing the joy in my children’s eyes and hearing the laughter in their voices as wrapping paper flies in all directions. I love:

  • Spending time with family
  • Wearing scarves
  • And drinking hot cocoa.

I LOVE Christmas.

Hot cocoa and scarf. Encouragement to give thanks.
Is there anything better than hot cocoa on a cold winter day?!
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

BUT, even more, I love Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the perfect preparation and simple reminder of all that the winter holidays represent.

Thanksgiving, in its greatest simplicity, is just what it says, “Time to give thanks.”

In fact, The practice of gratitude has been scientifically proven to bring joy.

In my library, I have a book called, The Thank You Dish, by Trace Balla. To summarize, it’s a simple story of a little girl saying thank you to the funniest and most mundane things in life.

The book reminds me to be thankful for all things and reminds me of how all things work together. The simple story reminds me of the reason for the season.

Giving Thanks When Life is Hard:

While it’s easy to give thanks when times are good, what about the times when life isn’t so easy? I believe there’s something to be thankful for in every situation, even in a bad situation. For example:

  • The messes my children make, because it means my children are alive to make the messes.
  • Lost friendships, because they remind me of the importance of being a good friend
  • The toxic work environment I was in for many years because it pushed me to find a new job
  • The loss of my grandmother, for the grief brought family together I hadn’t seen in a long time.

God doesn’t call us to be grateful only in times of bliss and happiness. He calls us to be thankful, at all times.

Perhaps that’s why I love Thanksgiving…

Before the season begins, may we pause to give thanks for what we have now so we can appreciate things to come.

So again I beg you, Don’t skip over Thanksgiving.

Whether you already have your Christmas lights up, your shopping completed, or you’d rather pass on the leftover meatloaf, remember to pause and give thanks.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:17

I would love to know your favorite holiday and why, so please, share in the comments below!

As always, Thanks for reading! If you found this post encouraging, I would appreciate your shares on social media!

This post was originally published on November 14, 2019. Revised November 2020.

You may also enjoy:

Gratitude List Examples: 35 Inspiring and Unique Ideas

A Halloween Devotional: 4 Powerful God Truths to Know from a Pumpkin

Joy in the Magic of the Season

How to Have Joy on a Bad Day: 3 Simple Ways

A Glimpse of Heaven

Looking for some fun ways to stop and give thanks? Check out these great ideas!

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7 thoughts on “My Favorite Holiday is Here. (It’s Not What You Think)

  1. Thanks for this wonderful reminder on the importance of Thanksgiving. We are to give thanks during good and bad times because God is faithful always.

  2. Thanks for this wonderful reminder on the importance of Thanksgiving. We are to give thanks during good and bad times because God is always faithful.

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