How do we make an impact on our families and impress on those we love at Thanksgiving it's significance? I've read hundreds of sermons, bulletin articles and blogs around this time of year. It's not an easy task preaching on Thanksgiving. Ultimately they all sound the same - "blah, blah, blah, blah, be thankful..." I'm chuckling at myself a little there. It's just a challenge each year to, well, to challenge people to make the day more and meaningful. Growing up we had a family tradition that each member of the family would share something for which they were thankful. For years I thought this was pretty unique but in my unscientific poll roughly 60% of the families do pretty much the same thing.
I've found that there are at least four people who gather 'round every table that does this. You've got The Thinker, she isn't quite ready with her answer and wants you to come back to her later. Then there's The Family Drama King, he doesn't want to be at that table anyway and if they can get a barb in they'll stab someone with their backhanded "thanks." Third you have The Family Comic, he always comes up with some that totally takes any reverence from this potentially meaningful moment. And finally there's The Preacher who doesn't give you a sentence but a small book of all the things they are thankful for and a litany of why.
But, none of those characters are what takes the meaning from this moment. The problem is that before the echoes are gone the words are forgotten in the midst of turkey, sweet potato casserole and football. It's special for one brief shining moment and then we move on before it has time to sink in what just happened.
May I offer a suggestion? This year - take a piece of poster board, a giant Post-It Note and a Sharpie. As you go around the table let someone write down what is said. Then take a picture of it with your smart phone, print it out, post it as your FaceBook status, put a copy on your refrigerator, make it your background image - put it somewhere that it will be remembered and seen - give it some lasting effect! Lengthen the effect of your Thanksgiving.
*Ed note: I challenged our folks with this Sunday. One of our awesome teachers (Becky Spears) used the idea in her class at school. The image associated with this blog is a picture of what they came up with. I look forward to seeing your lists!