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Nov 7, 2023 10:08:56 AM

Ways to Keep Christ at the Center of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us, a time of year focused on gathering with loved ones, setting a beautiful table, roasting a turkey, and trying new recipes for various side dishes and desserts. As Christians, it’s important to remember this time of year isn’t just for being filled with pumpkin pie, but it’s also for being filled with thanks to God for all the blessings He’s given us.

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Sometimes, though, this time of year is so busy we forget to keep the focus of the season on Christ. We have you covered with ways you can keep Christ at the center of your celebration this year. 

What Thanksgiving Means to Christians

Thanksgiving is the holiday where people often reflect and are thankful for all the blessings they have in their lives; as Christians, we understand that that praise and glory belongs to God for providing those blessings.

One of the main types of prayer is thanksgiving. This is the form of prayer where we praise God and give Him thanks for all He’s given us. Everything we have in this life is a gift from God. It’s important to let Him know just how thankful we are and how blessed we are to be His chosen people.

Read Also: 15 Powerful Bible Verses about Thankfulness and Gratitude

God is constantly there for us and at work in our lives. He provides for us, protects us, strengthens us, guides us and loves us endlessly. The Thanksgiving season offers us a special opportunity to reflect on these blessings and tell Him how thankful we are for His love, grace, and mercy.

This Thanksgiving, when we gather around the table, let us remember to not only thank our loved ones for blessing our lives, but also give thanks to our Lord for all He’s done for us. After all, giving thanks to God is a beautiful offering, showing how much we love Him.


Practical Ways to Keep Christ at the Center of Thanksgiving

Looking for ways you can keep Christ at the center of your Thanksgiving celebration this year? Here are a few ideas:

Volunteer at a Local Homeless Shelter or Soup Kitchen

It’s unfortunate that there is a large population that cannot be with family to celebrate this beautiful holiday. Share Christ’s joy and compassion for His people by being that light through providing a warm, special meal to those less fortunate this year.

Start a Thankfulness Jar

Place a jar in an easily accessible location in your home at the beginning of November. Every day, write down one item you’re thankful for. It can be something that happened that day, someone you’re grateful for, or something you’ll always cherish. Place a small notepad and pen nearby so it’s a simple task to complete every day!

Donate Items to Charity

Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to do one final deep clean and donate the items you no longer need or use. This is a great way to remember not to be attached to earthly possessions and keep our eyes on the truly important things—and to help others in need.


Have Each Guest Contribute Something to the Meal

Planning, prepping, and preparing the Thanksgiving meal is a LOT of work! It can occupy all your time so that you aren’t able to truly be present in the day and reflect on giving thanks to God. Ask each Thanksgiving dinner guest to bring something to the meal—whether a side dish, dessert, or even drinks. It will take the load off of the host and make each guest feel part of the celebration.

Invite Someone Who May Be Alone To Your Thanksgiving Celebration

If there’s someone you know who may not be able to travel to be with family this holiday, or may be new in town and not know anyone, invite them into your home. Welcoming others who have no place to go is one way we can be Christ to someone.

Use Scripture in Your Decorations or Place Settings

This time of year, we can get caught up in crafting magazine-worthy table settings and decor. If your house is usually dressed to the nines in pumpkins and fall adornment, find a way to add something with a Scripture verse on it. Putting God’s Word on display at the center of your house or table will remind you and your guests Who deserves our praise and thanksgiving.


Start Your Holiday Gathering With Prayer

There’s no better way to keep Christ in your Thanksgiving celebration than by prayer. We have an entire list of prayers if you’d like some pointers. Here’s our favorite: 

“Father, today we give thanks for all the blessings You have given us. We’re safe from harm, we have food to eat, and despite the challenges in our lives, we know that we are blessed. One of the things we’re most grateful for is Christ’s finished work on the cross.”

Take Turns Reading Psalm 100 

Break out your Bible and have a “popcorn”-style reading of Psalm 100. This Scripture on thankfulness highlights the importance of giving praise to God. Expert hint: do this in between dinner and dessert to give your meal time to settle and make sure your guests hear it before they leave (because who leaves before dessert?).

We hope and pray this Thanksgiving holiday is filled with joy, blessings, and making of wonderful memories with your loved ones. For more inspiration, sign up for our Great American Pure Flix Insider email newsletter. For ideas of inspiring programs to watch with your family this Thanksgiving, check out our list of movies that inspire serving and giving.


Marissa Zimmet

I was born and raised just across the bay from Tampa, Florida (Go, Lightning!) and attended college at ECU in Greenville, North Carolina. I am a devout Catholic and am active in my parish in Charlotte, North Carolina. Outside of work, I love to run, hike, watch movies and hockey, and spend time with my dog, Rose, and my cat, Toasty, who are both rescues.