“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)
Follow our steps on creating a low–budget Thanksgiving feast.
Soon we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Families will gather to thank God for His faithfulness. Fall colors transform the trees as though they are dressing up. So we should prepare our hearts to show our Creator our gratitude for every blessing and kindness received during the past year.
Many times during this season of Thanksgiving, we only focus on what we are going to cook for our family or the decorating of our home. We are worried about what our guests will think of us, which unfortunately distracts from the true meaning of this beautiful celebration. Today, we are going to put into practice a simple plan so that this day is special and we do not lose focus of its true meaning.
Two Weeks Before Thanksgiving Day
- Make a list and contact your guests. Don’t forget to include a RSVP.
- Make a grocery list and prepare a menu. Make sure to ask guests for dietary restrictions.
- To save money and time, consider asking each guest to bring a dish or beverage. This allows more time for everyone to enjoy a wonderful day with family and friends.
- Make sure you have the necessary kitchen equipment. If not, check with your guests to see if they have what you need.
- Look for coupons in the newspaper and online to help defray the cost.
- Select a turkey keeping in mind the number of people you need to serve. Also determine how long it will need to cook.
The Week of Thanksgiving Day
- Clean the refrigerator
- Locate slow cookers for side dishes
- Clean coolers for beverages
- Clean oven
- Do a thorough house cleaning
- Plan the table setting
- Decorate according to the season. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on this. Visit the local Dollar Store; be creative and have fun. Consider making it a family project involving your children. Check the website todayscreativelife.com for suggestions.
The Day Before Thanksgiving
- Bake the pies or other desserts
- Prepare side dishes
- Set the table
- Plan for soft music and candle light
Project #1: Personalize Plates
- White porcelain plates
- Permanent markers or ceramic paint markers
- Alcohol Pads
Wipe the plates with an alcohol pad. Plan the design. You could add a Psalm of Thanksgiving such as: Psalm 69:30; Psalm 100:4; Psalm 106:1; Psalm 75:1; Psalm 44:8 and Psalm 86:12. Decorate the rim of the plate only. If you make a mistake, it can be wiped off with an alcohol pad. Place the plates in the oven on cookie sheets.
Set the oven for 350 F and let it heat up with the plates inside.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Let the plates completely cool down before removing from oven. Only wash them by hand.
Alternate idea: Visit a local pottery painting shop and use under glazes for ceramics. Your keepsake plate will last a lifetime.
Project #2: Create a Kraft Paper Table Runner
Check the website Dawn Nicole Designs in Pinterest or visit www.bydawnnicole.com. Search “paper table runner.”
Roll of 2.5 ft. wide Kraft paper, a pencil, a black fine point marker and an eraser.
Cut a piece of Kraft paper approximately two feet longer than the table. Set the table so you will know where to write each person’s name.
Move the plate up 1–2 inches higher and trace the edge to create an arc. This is the guideline on which to write the names. Write each name in cursive in pencil, and then trace the names in marker. Watch Kelly Creates videos in YouTube to learn simple calligraphy steps. Erase any pencil lines and brush away the eraser residue.
Project #3: Plan to have a moment where the whole family has an opportunity to thank the Lord for His blessings over the past year. Make it special and fun; include the kids as well. Pass around a bowl of candy corn and invite the children to take some from the bowl. Ask them to share a blessing for each candy corn they took. (This project could be demonstrated in the women’s ministries meeting.)
Just Be Thankful
Read Luke 17: 11–19. This scripture records the story of ten men with leprosy who came to Jesus to be healed. After healing all ten, He instructed the men to show themselves to the priest. However, only one of the ten returned to Jesus to thank Him. “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan” (verses 15, 16).
An important question to consider is our level of gratitude. Are we like the one man who returned to Jesus to thank Him for healing? Or are we like the nine who immediately forgot who had healed them? Gratitude is an attitude that enables us to remember that all we have is a gift from God. Gratitude is a sign of maturity and a way of life.
There are three things that we need to remember:
- Always recognize where our blessings come from. “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Col. 3:16).
- We should express our gratitude constantly. “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice” (Luke 17:15).
- We need to give thanks to the Lord for everything. “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:16). “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name” (Heb. 13:15, NIV). When we stop praising God, we begin to forget about Him and all He has done for us. Each day we must pause to intentionally recognize and consider the goodness of God.
Some Practical Tips to Remember:
- Start your day by giving thanks to God
- Thank God consistently
- Remember the grace of God will always be manifested in favor of those who humble themselves before Him.
Verse to Memorize:
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)