The purpose of Thanksgiving is pretty clear. It’s a time to give thanks for all of God’s blessings in our lives.
But thanks aren’t the only things we can give during this time of year.
We can live out our gratitude by giving our resources and time to others. And, since giving is an incredible source of joy, it’s also a great way to have a lot of fun.
Here are four areas where you can really invest in others and be a blessing during the Thanksgiving season.
1. Bless Your Family.
Thanksgiving and families pretty much go together like turkey and dressing, so make the most of it. Do something special to bless your family members, like finding out what everyone’s favorite dish might be and making it a part of the annual feast.
While you’re at it, find ways to take family ministry beyond the dinner table. Plan a special visit to a family member living in a retirement home. Or, even better, commit to doing what you can to heal a hurt or bury a grudge that’s been hanging around like an unwelcome dinner guest.
2. Bless Your Friends and Neighbors.
People may look like they have it all together, but they really have needs that you can help meet. Whether it’s doing yard work for an elderly neighbor or inviting someone with no family in town to your house for Thanksgiving dinner, you can make a difference in their lives.
You also could volunteer to babysit for a young couple’s date night or invite a friend or neighbor to a special service at church. Many folks would jump at the chance. You just have to extend the invitation.
3. Bless Your Community.
Sometimes, making a difference in the world begins in your own neck of the woods. Your family can pitch in for a traditional giving opportunity, like serving at a food pantry or donating blood. But you can also go outside the box a bit by having a yard sale or car wash to raise money for a particular cause.
Since Thanksgiving can be a tough time for people who serve others every day, you can brighten their holiday by giving a little time. Bake a pie or some cookies for local firefighters or police officers. Write a letter to a soldier around the corner or across the ocean. The investment might seem small, but it will be appreciated more than you can imagine.
4. Bless a Stranger.
It’s one thing to be generous toward someone you know, but reaching out to complete strangers lets you be Jesus’ hands and feet in a special way. Imagine the smile on the face of an international student who takes a seat at your holiday table. You could even save up some cash for no other reason than eating out and giving a huge tip to a server at a restaurant.
Giving can be a lot of fun, so be intentional with your time and resources during the holiday season. Needs come in all shapes and sizes, but God’s plan for meeting those needs might look just like you.