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The Origin of America's
Annual Thanksgiving Day
"The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day
feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God
and to celebrate with their Indian friends.
While this was not the first Thanksgiving in America
(thanksgiving services were held in Virginia as
early as 1607), it was America's first Thanksgiving
Festival." Read more at Christian
Thanksgiving in America
by David Barton
"The tradition of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on
God and His blessings dates back almost four
centuries in America. While such celebrations
occurred at Cape Henry Virginia as early as 1607, it
is from the Pilgrims that we derive the current
tradition of Thanksgiving." Read more at Wallbuilders
Washington's and Lincoln's Thanksgiving
George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving
Proclamation. "Whereas it is the duty of all
nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty
God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His
benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and
favor . . . " Read more
Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Proclamation of
Thanksgiving. This proclamation was
celebrated shortly after Lincoln committed his life
to Christ and celebrated while America was still in
the midst of its Civil War. It was this
proclamation which eventually led to the
establishment of our national Thanksgiving
holiday. Read it here
The Mayflower, Pilgrims,
and Early Plymouth Colony
Caleb Johnson's Mayflower Web
. A complete website dealing with the
Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and early Plymouth Colony.
. Virtual tour of the Mayflower.
. Includes a virtual tour.
of Thanksgiving and Pilgrims. Annie's Thanksgiving Home Page
Christian. Many pages of arts, crafts, games,
activities, history and traditions of Thanksgiving,
plus more related links here
Teaching Different Age Groups
Learning DifficultiesYou're Invited!
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As I was teaching my 1st grader phonics, I explained
to him that I didn't learn phonics when I was going
to school, and as a result, I'm a very poor speller.
I told him, "I'm excited about teaching phonics,
because I'm going to lean to spell better."
Later that day my son was playing in the backyard,
and he began a conversation with a girl across the
fence. The girl called out to him, "What school do
you go to?"
He yelled back, "I home school."
"Why?" she asked.
"Because my mom can't spell," he shouted back.
Submitted by Jill J., California
God Loves You.
Because we have been separated from God by sin,
Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life
again. If we trust Him as our Savior and Lord, He
will give us eternal life.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not
as a result of works, that no one should boast."
(Eph. 2:8, 9)
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In This Issue: Thankfulness
1. The Character Quality of
2. Teaching About Thankfulness
3. "To Be Thankful, You Must Be
4. Establishing the Habit of
Thanksgiving is a reminder to teach our children the
important character quality of thankfulness. In
fact, we can make thanksgiving a way of life, not
just a one-day event.
Gratitude is related to the character quality of
A life of thankfulness is a life of joy!
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting."
1 Chronicles 16:7, 34
May the Lord bless your family for His glory.
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
Home is a home-school, family-run
business operated in our home since 1980.
The Character Quality of Thankfulness
Thankfulness is an attitude. If your child
adopts a grateful
mindset and maintains it throughout his life it will
contribute to your child's:
Relationships with the Lord and others.
Happiness; causing him to be content with what he
has and not complain about what he doesn't have.
Thankfulness, or gratitude, belongs to a group of
the following related character qualities:
Being satisfied with what God has provided, without
Read I Tim. 6:5, 6, 8; Phil. 4:11; Heb. 13:5.
Appreciating and acknowledging favors or gifts.
Read Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 2:6-7; I Tim. 4:4-5; I
Delighting in the Lord regardless of circumstances.
Read Ps. 100:2; Rom. 12:11; Prov. 15:13; Ps. 35:9.
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Teaching About Thankfulness
Thankfulness needs to be taught. It does not
come naturally to fallen human beings, yet it
pleases and honors God. "Therefore by Him let
us continually offer the
sacrifice of praise to God." Hebrews 13:15
1. Teach What God Says about
During your regular daily Bible and devotional time
read and discuss the character qualities and
scriptures above. Using a concordance, look up
God commands us to be thankful.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, . . .
and be thankful." Colossians 3:15
2. Memorize Scriptures.
Memorize, review, and meditate on specific verses or
passages related to thankfulness.
Hold hands around the Thanksgiving table and quote
Psalm 100 or your selected memory verses.
Sing an appropriate hymn or chorus of praise and
This tradition can be expanded for every day of the
When growing up, our family held hands and sang
"Thank You, Lord" before prayer at dinner every day.
3. Talk about Thankfulness.
Throughout the day there are a multitude of
opportunities for your children to hear you say
aloud, "Thank you, Lord, for . . ." or for
you to talk about something for which you are
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"To Be Thankful, You Must Be Thoughtful"
This is what our father taught his large family of
11 children. It is easy to take for granted
the many gifts that God has given to us unless we
stop and think about them.
1. Consider Others
One way to think about your own blessings is to
consider those who have less, as articulated in the
proverb "I complained because I had no shoes, until
I met a man who had no feet."
In America today we can find many people that havemore than we do. This tends to make us and
our children discontent. (In fact, the
secular media's featuring of the rich and famous,
combined with commercial advertising that is
intended to make you crave more, is a good reason to
turn off your TV for good.)
On the other hand, your family can find those around
you that have less than you do in terms of physical,
family, and spiritual blessings. Looking
farther from home to the poor of this world can show
us the relative luxuries even the poorest of us
possess (e.g., water!).
2. Our Response
Besides providing a reminder to be thankful, let
these examples prompt a practical compassion in your
family as you find ways to share your blessings.
The best blessing you can share is the good news of
God's love and forgiveness. Don't leave home
without gospel tracts or scripture portions to give
to someone God places in your path.
Especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas times,
rescue missions need and appreciate gifts that
enable them to provide meals and/or beds for the
Look for someone in your church that doesn't have
family nearby and invite them to share your
Thanksgiving feast or other meals with you.
3. Thanks for What We Do Have
The example of looking at a glass of water as being
either half empty or half full illustrates the two
ways that we can view our lives. Teach your
Instead of dwelling on your problems, look at your
blessings and thank the Lord for them.
Instead of looking at how bad a situation is, look
at how much worse it could have been and thank the
Lord it wasn't.
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Establishing the Habit of Thankfulness
Help your children establish and maintain the habit
1. Start with the Attitude
If your children assume that they "deserve" certain
things, they will not be thankful for them.
Help your children understand our dependency upon
God for everything we are and have.
Teach your children what God says about being
content with only food and covering.
Explain that anything God or others do for us, or
give us, is an occasion for our thankfulness.
2. "Please" and "Thank You"
Include thankfulness in the basic rules of courtesy
that you set for your family.
Teaching your young child to say "Please" and "Thank
You" whenever he asks for, or is given, anything is
a practical way to teach him to be thankful and to
Start by saying it for him at appropriate times,
even before he can talk.
A gentle reminder and later (or for older children)
a pause while waiting for them to say "please" or
"thank you," if consistent, will soon establish the
You might review this rule with your older children
to good advantage as well.
Make sure your children thank others outside your
home when they are given something, are wished
something (e.g., "Happy Birthday" or "Have a good
day"), or have a service performed such as opening a
door or being served a meal.
3. Reinforcing the Habit
Discuss good examples of thankfulness, such as how
good it makes you feel to receive a prompt and
handwritten Thank You card from a friend.
Have your child keep a Thankful Diary in which he
writes all the things he is thankful for and checks
off those for which he has expressed thanks.