tree.” Don’t worry; it is a simple project.
We cut out a brown trunk, making several tree limbs. Then each child cuts leaves
out of various colors. The goal is for every
person present at our house on Thanksgiving to have five leaves.
Following the Thanksgiving meal, we
pass out the leaves and pens. Each person writes one thing for which they are
thankful on each leaf. After a few moments, we go around the table and read
our leaves. They don’t have to all be spiritual or serious things. A typical year includes gratitude for health, salvation, and
our church as well as action figures, the
treehouse, and tickets to Dollywood.
We tape the tree and leaves onto a
prominent wall in our house, leaving it
up for several months. It serves as a regular reminder of God’s blessings.
2. Lead your family in singing
My wife and I love Thanksgiving and
Christmas music. One easy way to instill
an appreciation for holiday music into
your family is to use songs devotion-
ally in family worship. During the holi-
days, introduce one song a week. Print
the words or copy the music from a
hymnal and pass the copies out after
supper on Sunday or Monday. Each
day at a family meal, take time to talk
about the truths in the song. Use one
of the many resources available that
tell the stories behind hymns. Sing the
hymn or carol as a family several times
One year during November we used
“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.”
Then we sang that song as a table blessing
many times through the year.
3. Make a prayer garland.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, gather some red and green construction
paper. Cut out twenty-four strips. As a
family, choose twenty-four people and
ministries for whom you want to pray.
Write one prayer target on each strip.
Using a stapler, make a garland and
hang it in the family room. Once a day,
let the children take turns tearing off a
prayer strip and leading your family in
prayer for that person or ministry. One
year our family sent notes every day to
each recipient. Your children will anticipate tearing off their strips.
4. Practice the art of celebrating.
Dads, lead the way in rejoicing and celebrating this festive season. Don’t be a
Grinch; be a celebrator! Get excited as
the family picks out Christmas decorations, lights and ornaments. Turn on the
Christmas CDs and fill your home with
music. Bring home little treats of candy
or small gifts to share with your family
throughout the month. May the walls of
your house ring with Dad’s laughter and
John Ortberg so rightly said, “If we
don’t rejoice today, we will not rejoice
at all. If we wait until conditions are
perfect, we will still be waiting when we
God, as a Father, wove the remembrance of special days
into the fabric of His people’s existence.
Fun Learning Activities for the Holidays!
UNDERSTANDING OUR CHILDREN TOGETHER