Nov 26, 2019
Ep 87: How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Even More
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
I’m keeping this week’s podcast episode short and sweet because I want to get back to spending quality time with my family—and, of course, I want you to do the same.
I really love this holiday. Not only does it feel like the official kickoff to the holiday season, but it’s also such a sweet time to remember all that God has blessed us with. Whether you have plans to spend this week in a crowded house with tons of extended family members or you plan to keep things low-key, I want to encourage you to be fully present.
This holiday will be what you make it, and you can make it great.
Before I let you go today, I want to share five simple things you can do this week to make your holiday a lot more special:
1. Write a thoughtful note.
I think nice things about people all the time, but I always forget to tell them! Do you do that? I once heard someone say that thinking something nice about someone and not telling the person is like wrapping a gift and not giving it to them. That is so true!
I actually save every handwritten note I’m given. No matter what anyone says, handwritten notes are not outdated—they’re gifts people treasure.
So, this week, spend a little bit of time writing notes to people who come to mind. You can give them a word of encouragement, say thank you for something, or give them a compliment that will make their day. Receiving a handwritten note is rare in our digital age, so brighten someone else’s day with a sweet and unexpected note.
2. Be hospitable.
‘Tis the season to show love to the people God has placed in your life by inviting them into your home. But the truth is, the holidays are a difficult time for many people.
Maybe there’s someone in your life who doesn’t have a place to go during the holidays. Maybe there’s a neighbor or a coworker who doesn’t have family in town.
This is the perfect opportunity to build new relationships by sharing your home, a meal, or even a simple cup of coffee with someone new.
3. Disconnect completely.
I’m not just encouraging you to silence your phone or put it in airplane mode. This Thanksgiving, I want you to put it out of reach and out of sight completely—at the very least, for one full day.
I often pick up my phone out of habit if I can see it. So if I’m sitting at the dinner table and I can see my phone close by, I’ll pick it up and check it—even if there’s been no ring or notification. But that doesn’t happen when I can’t see it.
That’s why I want you to put your phone in a different room, where it will be out of sight and out of mind. When you do this, you’re giving the people around you an incredible gift: your undivided attention.
And if you want to take photos, why not do something crazy, like buy a disposable camera that you can pass around? How fun would it be to see what kind of photos you get out of it?
4. Plan to be generous.
This is the time of year when we’re all acutely aware of how much we have to be grateful for, and it puts us in a generous spirit. But you know what? You’ve got to plan for that in your budget and even put it on your calendar.
Believe it or not, a lot of nonprofit organizations have cut-off dates for their Christmas giving—some cutoffs are as early as the first week of December.
But you’ve got time right now! It’s Thanksgiving—you’re ahead of the game.
You can even make a plan for random acts of kindness! Set aside a budget for things like paying for the order behind you in the drive thru, leaving a big tip at a restaurant, paying for someone else’s groceries, or putting gas in someone’s tank. It really does feel better to give than to receive.
I’m preaching to myself right now, but if we’re not careful, we will cram so much into our holiday schedule that we become more stressed, anxious, and frazzled than we are other times of the year. We’ve got potlucks, parties and guests from out of town to take care of—it can quickly become overwhelming.
Instead, I want you to intentionally hold yourself accountable to finding rest. Stop, slow down, sit on the couch, and don’t feel like you always have to be doing something.
How about picking up food instead of cooking for that potluck? Gasp! Did I just suggest store-bought food for a Thanksgiving potluck? If it means you get to slow down, rest and enjoy the people around you more, then yes! Find ways to work smarter, not harder this holiday.
You know, God has a lot to say about rest. In fact, rest is positioned in the Bible as both a command and a blessing.
God knows what’s good for you. So slow down this Thanksgiving enough to rest in His presence and really appreciate all that He’s done, is doing, and will do for you.
All right y’all, if you want to make your Thanksgiving a little bit sweeter this year, write a thoughtful note to someone, open your doors and practice hospitality, disconnect completely, plan for generosity, and slow down enough to find rest in God’s presence.
This is a really special time of the year, and you get to choose how you use it and what you do with it. I pray that the good habits you practice this week will go with you throughout the entire Christmas season as well.
1:02 How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Even More
1:24 Write a Thoughtful Note
2:58 Be Hospitable
3:40 Disconnect Completely
6:12 Plan to Be Generous
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