In 2015 Claire and I attempted to significantly increase our gratitude attitude by keeping a Thanksgiving Jar on our kitchen counter. And into that jar we dropped notes throughout the year — notes on which we had jotted down thanks for blessings given us by God. We wrote down encouragements, answers to prayer, deliverances, special moments of beauty and adventure. You get the idea.
It was a very stimulating way to sharpen our sense of thanksgiving, to reduce complacency and complaining, and to deepen our appreciation of the constancy of constant God’s mercies to us. We started the project as a result of a New Year’s resolution and it turned out to be a niftier spiritual exercise than we had imagined.
We’re doing it again this year. In fact, we started on Thanksgiving Day.
But what of last year’s notes? How did we use them?
Well, they became a delightful new spice to our Christmas celebrations. Every other night or so, Claire and I sat with cups of tea in the living room, basking in the glow of the Christmas tree lights while we pulled 5 or 6 of the notes at random out of the bowl. (The number of notes had grown so that we dumped them from the Thanksgiving Jar into a large bowl every once in a while.) We then read through them one at a time and thanked God afresh for each of those blessings. They always stimulated conversation and related prayers as well. It was very neat.
So there you have it. Perhaps you might consider making a New Year’s resolution to start a Thanksgiving Jar project for you and your family. It will no doubt help make Thanksgiving a whole-year practice and will also provide an added bounty to your Christmas season.