It’s a Thanksgiving Life


Build a Memory of Thanksgiving Kindness

When you think of the words, “kindness” and “Thanksgiving” an image of food might come to mind. Maybe your Thanksgiving motto is, “Show God’s love in a practical weigh!”

Good food is a delight for sure. Beyond that, there are other ways to express kindness that will last longer than your next meal. Here are a few ideas on how to build a Thanksgiving memory that will endure. Some of these are thoughts you may have already had. Others might be new.

From the Inside…

Decide now that you will listen, even to those who tend to push a button or two. I don’t know your family, but I know you will have at least one Uncle Carl figure who will be at Thanksgiving this year. He’s loveable, but he drives you bananas. Someone like him is the person who never seems to move forward in life. They will probably be the same this Thursday as they’ve been for the past umpteen years. That’s the person you wish would change a little, but they seem stuck, and it can be maddening. Sure Uncle Carl is a handful, but give him a few minutes to do what he always does. Listen in for a minute. Get into his world. He’ll likely be surprised that you tuned into him.

Write affirming name place cards. Write something encouraging and kind for each person. Place it by their seat. Personalize the note with their name attached. One of sweetest words for everyone is their first name.

“We appreciate you, Bob!”

“The best is yet to come!”

“Walk by love.”

“God is at work in your life.”

“We are thankful for you!”  

“We thank God that you are in our life!”  

“In everything give thanks!”

Resist the possible temptation to preach on the cards!

Ask around the table. Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of the meal to share around the table one thing each person is grateful for as they look back over the past year. You might need to call on a “volunteer” to get things rolling. Child volunteers are usually the best way to begin.

Clean up the dishes. Be the first to start the cleanup. No matter what your host says, they don’t need to take care of the dishes. That’s for you and other volunteers.

Watch the world’s greatest Thanksgiving movie – “It’s a Wonderful Life!” That’s right. Switch things up a bit this year with your movie watching sequence. We made this film part of our Christmas celebration each year of our marriage. Our kids can quote lines from the movie. We are big fans.

This year we are going to watch is on Thanksgiving to get the holidays off on the right foot. The fuel you’ll get from this movie will launch you into a fantastic holiday season.

To the Outside…

There are also things you can do outside of your house to turn our Thanksgiving in a kind direction.

Overtip. You need to be generous even more than your server needs your generous tip.

Pay for the coffee of someone behind you. As you go to pay for yours, ask what the person behind you what they are getting. If they are going for twenty-seven coffee drinks, you don’t need to volunteer to pay for their order. Just cover one coffee to show them God’s love in a practical way. I have seen some amazing things happen during the holidays when I’ve invested a couple of dollars to pay for someone’s coffee.

If people ask for more information about kindness, direct them to our primary site where they will get more about kindness

Black Friday donut give away

If you do this, you might make the local news. Lots of fun and surprising to people. Get a box of sought-after donuts. Most people like a simple Krispy Kreme glazed, and they are affordable.

Now that stores tend to be open nearly all night from Thanksgiving forward, it’s still a great project it’s just you may have to adjust slightly. The good news is you can reach out to a lot of people without having to get up in the middle of the night to reach people.

Do a pie blitz of your neighbors. Just prior to Thanksgiving is a great time to give a food gift to celebrate Thanksgiving. By next week they will have the beginnings of a mountain of Christmas food. Be the first to bless them, and you’ll make an impression.

I like to say there are only three ways to eat pumpkin pie – standing, sitting or as you jump on a trampoline. In other words, it’s one of the best foods on the planet anywhere, anytime. Make or buy some pumpkin pie to share outside the house with neighbors.

No matter how you show God’s love in a practical way, know that he will take your kindness and move through it with his – and that’s the sort that will endure.

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

– Henry James

Steve has spoken, mentored and modeled to churches and leaders around the world with the simple message that anyone – regardless of their gifting or experience – can be involved in bringing God’s loving kindness to others. His first book, Conspiracy of Kindness has been translated into several languages with more in the works. His first book has sold over 300,000 copies. Altogether his books have sold over 500,000 copies.