How to Keep the "Thanksgiving Mindset" through Christmas

Dad and daughter reading together at Christmas

How to Keep the "Thanksgiving Mindset" through Christmas

There is nothing wrong with loving Christmas immensely, but it is important to check our hearts as we enter into the season. Part of the heart of Christmas is holding a mindset of thanksgiving.

The holidays are a joyous time of year, but it seems more and more there arises the temptation to skip over Thanksgiving and dive right into Christmas. There is nothing wrong with loving Christmas immensely, but it is important to check our hearts as we enter into the season. Part of the heart of Christmas is holding a mindset of thanksgiving.

Recalling the Good of the Year

The end of the year approaches, and before we get too wrapped up in all of the excitement, we ought to take a moment for reflection. There are so many things to be grateful for this year. God has graciously given us life, and even if life looks different than it has in previous years, He is still faithful to be with us. We can take account of the small details of life or the significant events that have passed. As we have come out of a time of shutdowns and quarantines, we can come before Him thankful for the time we have had to be still and quiet. We can also bring to mind the fruit that He has brought forth in that time. Even in times of uncertainties and healing, we can draw upon the gifts God has graciously given this year and bring forth a heart full of praise. God has been faithful to us, and there is so much good to see in this time.

Elderly couple kissing at Christmas

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/lucigerma

Gifts

We all love a good Christmas gift, and for those who have the love language of gift-giving, it can be one of the highlights of the year to offer presents to those you love. Part of what brings forth a thanksgiving mindset is remembering that gifts are not limited to material possessions we give. At Christmas, we can be thankful for the blessings that we often overlook, as they are part of our daily lives. Gifts such as the sun rising so beautifully every morning or a kind text from a cherished loved one just to say hi. We can remember sentimental possessions that hold greater significance because of the memory they contain or the love given by someone special. With grateful hearts, we can remember that gifts can come in many different forms, and before we ask or look for more, we can take account of what blessings we already have.

Living in the Moment

Christmas lends itself to looking towards Christmas Day, and often we forget to live in the small things at the moment. Through the season, there are thousands of little wonders like snowflakes falling around us in a snow globe, and we have the place to take them in or not. Instead of trading towards the day, taking on stressors of it all, and crunching the numbers nonstop of our spending, there is beauty all around us to simply take in. Breathe in that cool, crisp air as you walk outside, savor that cup of hot cocoa, take a snapshot in your mind of the look on the children around you as they experience aspects of the season for the very first time. Living in the present moment is sincerely a present; you will never get this single moment again.


Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Jakob Owen

Choose to Have the Heart Status of Gratitude

Ultimately, we make a choice to have a heart of gratitude or one that is in unrest or discontent. It can come subtly through ways we may not even notice at first, but when we consciously choose to be appreciative for what we have and what we have seen, we can come into the peace of having enough. We also open ourselves to the possibility that just as things have been given before, just as things have been good before, we then have the opportunity to see more come forward because we are watching. This awareness is a gift in itself, for we are marveling at the good in the world and not the flaws that are often more remarked upon. Quieting our hearts in thanksgiving offers a place of true joy.

The Greatest Gift

The best thing we can remember going into this season is the greatest gift of all, Jesus. It is not just a sentiment to say loosely. It is a truth we should raise high in praise and the banners of our hearts proclaiming. Many are worried that Christmas will be ruined with supply chains in such disarray, but in truth, we already have been given God’s greatest gift through His Son. This season is not about getting the newest gadgets and material items. Instead, it is about outwardly rejoicing that God sent His Own Son, Jesus. We can rejoice in the truth that God is with us, and He loves us. That is the true gift of Christmas and one we can be grateful for all year round.

As we enter into the Christmas season, we can carry the spirit of Thanksgiving with us. We have a good Father in Heaven who loves us so kindly, so wonderfully, and even if life is not as we would prefer in every way, the most incredible truths remain in Him. When we choose to let this season not be about what we have lost or what is missing, but instead what we have and how we can be grateful, the spirit of Thanksgiving can remain through Christmas and beyond.

Prayer

Father God,

Thank You for this season. Lord, we want to carry with us a spirit that greatly rejoices in what we have, what You have given, and what You have for us in this very present moment. Please help us to stay in alignment with a spirit of joy and a spirit of thankfulness. Remove from us the fleshly temptations to fall into despair or bitterness that seek to steal from the day and replace within us a status of peace and wide-eyed wonder to marvel at what You have for us today. We thank You, Lord, above all else.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/bernardbodo

Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. Her book, Hang on in There, Girl! Will be available everywhere on April 1, 2022. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan. 

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