Today I want to share with you how I plan a purposeful Thanksgiving. We at The Sublime Soiree talk about living lives that invite others in. A soiree is defined as a small party or gathering in a home, for conversation. It’s an opportunity to sit around the table and visit, encourage one another, and point each other to God.
Planning a purposeful Thanksgiving is something we all should consider. It isn’t just about pumpkins and leaves and all the decor. That definitely can be inviting, but being purposeful focuses on considering others. Is there someone to invite who doesn’t have a place to go or who has gone through a difficult circumstance? Maybe you know someone from a different country or maybe a new neighbor. This year’s Thanksgiving gathering in our home will include our immediate family and our parents. But, last year, we hosted a new colleague of my son’s who was a native of Iran. No two years need to look alike if you are being purposeful in each.
Here are a few ideas that I am using to plan a purposeful Thanksgiving gathering, no matter how big or small, simple or complex. Don’t let these ideas overwhelm you. Just keep in mind the purpose of gathering and keep it simple as simple as you want.
- Who will you invite? It is about serving them and giving them the opportunity to consider God’s goodness in their own lives and be thankful. Include friends or neighbors we touched upon that already.
- Plan the time and flow of the day. We plan to meet on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.; but keep in mind that sometimes with blended families or in-laws, your day might be different.
- Plan the menu. I usually cook the staples and other family members bring dessert or rolls. We have a tradition of frying a turkey. What tradition do you have or might you want to start? Determine if you have anyone who might have allergies or sensitivities. I actually have a menu of dishes that I prepare every year.
- Plan your décor and space of celebration. I will be sharing pictures on social media with some decorations I have incorporated over the years. Some of the pictures you will see in this article are the decorations I have used. Depending on the size of our guest list, I have used anything from two sets of Thanksgiving dishes to fall-themed paper plates from the dollar store.
- Plan out the activities. As soon as everyone arrives, we gather in our family room.
- We play a song to prepare our hearts. I will be sharing that song on our social media pages tomorrow.
- We read a passage of Scripture on praise, which I will share on Thanksgiving Day.
- We gather around the Island in our kitchen, and we pray a prayer of Thanksgiving and thank God for His Goodness, not only as He has displayed it this past year, but also as He ultimately demonstrated on the cross.
- We eat and enjoy conversation around the table.
- We go back to the family room and have a few games — some for the adults and some for kids. I always have prizes and make it fun and a little competitive. My heart is to engage the family. Then we read the story of the first Thanksgiving. I will show you the book we read, as well as pictures of the games we play, on our social pages.
- We share what we are thankful for, and I talked about that on-yesterday’s video so if you haven’t had a chance to watch check it out The Bible commands us to give thanks. “Give thanks” appears in the Bible over 128 times in 62 verses. In the majority of these verses, “Give thanks” is imperative. We are to actively give thanks to God for who He is and for the great things He has done. The command to give thanks is not based on our circumstances but on who God is. We are to thank God in anticipation of what He can do.
- Then Dessert
- Lastly more games or maybe a Christmas movie
And that’s our day! My reason for making Thanksgiving so purposeful is that I want my Thanksgiving guests to connect thankfulness to the One Whom we thank! Would you like to do the same? Then I encourage you to ask God how you might direct the conversations and activities at your Thanksgiving meal toward Him.
Wishing you a joyous, purposeful Thanksgiving Soiree, friend! Have a great day and may you live free above the fray.
— Sue M. Lindsey © November 23, 2021