I started a Thanksgiving family tradition a few years ago, quite by accident. This tradition has become my absolute favorite. I'm sharing it today, as I do every year so that our new readers can begin this tradition in their home. This is also a Family Faith Tradition I share in our new book, Not Alone.
I have a story to share and a photo. I also want to give you a chance to share some of your holiday traditions or giggles.
Join in today and share a Thanksgiving holiday tradition from your home or share a funny holiday hiccup.
My Hiccup: Like many newly married young women, I didn’t realize the turkey was stuffed with bagged giblets. Yep, I cook the turkey with the plastic bag and the giblets still inside. We ate it anyway.
Also, three years ago, I set the oven on fire when I moved the giant bird around. I freaked out. My husband came running. The house was crazy, people were yelling, crying and freaking… Perhaps it was only me doing the yelling, crying and freaking. My calm man put the flames out and to this day, I don’t know how he did it because we didn’t own a fire extinguisher.
The next morning I rose before dawn and went shopping at The Home Depot. NO NOT FOR CHRISTMAS… For a fire extinguisher. And now, every year BEFORE I bake the turkey, I check to make sure the extinguisher is charged and ready.
Today, I'm sharing one of my most favorite family traditions. Here is a post I wrote five years ago for the Internet Cafe. Hope you start a family tradition this year. It's NEVER too late to have a Tablecloth of Thanks.
Tablecloth of Thanks
Many of you know that I am married to an unbeliever. This past May we celebrated 15 years of marriage. Our unequally yoked marriage has had its challenges, to say the least. Over the years, however, our ingenious God has maneuvered us through many touchy issues.
Our disparity becomes more apparent during the holidays. Giving thanks to our Lord in November is a treasured time for me. I name my blessings one-by-one in prayer, thanking God for His lavish abundance poured into our lives.
Like most wives living in an unequally yoked marriage, I long for my spouse to understand there is a God. To know He is intricately involved in our lives and everything we have is the provision of our creator. I have also learned that forcing God upon my husband is a surefire way to push him away. I am careful to respect my husband and simply trust Jesus to reach him in his perfect timing.
In spite of my husband’s unbelief, I discovered a unique way to draw him into the celebration of thanks, besides through his stomach. He loves turkey.
Four years ago, I threw a new, pristine white tablecloth across our dining room table two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I purchased several colored pens and placed them on top. A new tradition was born, a Tablecloth of Thanks. It began with my daughter. I told her, “I WANT you to write on this tablecloth.” She looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, wondering if her mother had lost her mind.
“Really,” my smiled reassured. “Write down what you are most thankful for this year. Then write the year, 2004, near your name.”
She grinned and began to write using several different colors. I joined in and wrote my thanks directly on the beautiful tablecloth.
Later that evening my husband noticed the scribbles on the tablecloth. I watched as he walked over to read our words. I walked to his side and took his hand. I subtly asked him if he would also write down his thanks. He smiled and said maybe later.
Finally, on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, my husband picked up a pen and wrote; I am thankful for my wonderful family, great friends, and a very happy life.
Wow! Was he giving thanks to our Lord? I am not sure. However, every year since he has continued to write a thankful list. Last year’s entry reads; I am thankful for all of my blessings…family, friends, and the dogs.
The Thankful Tablecloth is one of my most prized possessions. Everyone who visits our home during the Thanksgiving holiday contributes to this permanent memorial of thanks. It is a visible praise to the King displayed in our unequally yoked home each November.
One of my favorite thanks is this:
I am thankful
to be able to sit
on the couch and have
my people pet me.
Hmmmm, I wonder how the dog grew fingers and learned to write????
Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Lord God, I will name my blessings one-by-one….. Jesus… eternal life…. clean water to drink…..capacity to love…..empowerment to forgive….. just for a start…..
It is never too late to start a new tradition. If you want to start your Tablecloth of Thanks, I have a few helpful hints.
- Place a sheet of butcher paper under your tablecloth. (I have a permanent smiley face on my dining room table from the year 2005)
- Use colorfast fabric pens.
- Store your tablecloth in an airtight Ziploc bag.
Thank you, my friends, for sharing this Holiday treasure with me. I wish you were with me today and could share your thankful heart on the Tablecloth of Thanks.
(My friends, if you could, share this post on Facebook and Twitter. It's truly a wonderful tradition and I want so much for families to have an opportunity to share faith in this way. Thanks, Lynn - click on the buttons below to share. Hugs)