Thanksgiving Outdoor Decorations
Thanksgiving outdoor decorations help welcome in the tradition of giving thanks to God for all of the goodness He has bestowed upon this nations. Many different items symbolize the first Thanksgiving historic feast of the Puritans on Plymouth Rock. Perhaps though, no symbol is more recognizable than the Thanksgiving cornucopia, or the horn of plenty that also holds symbolism of God's goodness. These symbols can be used to teach neighbors, families, and friends of the reason for Thanksgiving, and how to continue to recognize a day of thanks to the Lord.
The "horn of plenty" originated in folklore from the Greeks who believed in many gods. It is said that the god, Zeus, broke the horn off of a ram, and in repentance, promised to fill the horn with fruits forever. This is why the Thanksgiving cornucopia is also called the horn of plenty. Although it is doubtful that the Puritans would not have used ancient god and goddess symbols in their Thanksgiving celebration, the Thanksgiving cornucopia has come to symbolize the ever-flowing blessings of our God upon this nation. Thanksgiving outdoor decorations are the perfect opportunity to teach of God's abundance, provisions, and grace.
God's Word teaches that we are to be thankful at all times and for everything. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6) We are to recognize that everything comes from the hand of God, and we are to be thankful that He is good, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) And, that He has our best interest at heart. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13). Becoming more like Christ everyday can bring each person closer to the Truth.
What glory we can bring to God when we recognize this fantastic day set aside to Give God thanks. "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you." (Colossians 1:3). Consider using the holiday as a testimony to, not only family, but also to those who do not know Jesus Christ or have a personal relationship with Him. Thanksgiving outdoor decorations can catch the attention of passersby and friendly neighbors. Be bold and outgoing in teaching the Word.
A Thanksgiving parade has become an American tradition, as not one, but two or three major city spectaculars are broadcast yearly on national television. Waking up on that holiday morning and turning on the television to see larger-than-life balloons and fancy floats has long been a part of these annual traditions. The very first celebration is recorded in the Bible, and though the people did not have television to see the ceremony, the children of Israel, or God's people, saw and practiced their own observance of thanks and gratitude.
The first gratitude holiday was recorded in the Book of Leviticus and is listed as a number of sacrifices that God ordained and specified to His people. "And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the Lord. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried." (Leviticus 7:11-12) From the time recorded in Leviticus until the death of Christ, giving ceremonial thanks was a command of God through Thanksgiving traditions. In modern days, living in the era of grace, because of Christ's work on the cross, people are no longer commanded, but are encouraged to keep a heart of gratitude. The response to God's grace and mercy should be a heart of gratitude. This can be done by adding a float representing Christ at a Thanksgiving parade.
Through the years, Christians have appointed special days and times to continue in the original holidays with praise and focused gratitude towards God. The Pilgrims celebrated God's provisions on Plymouth Rock and in 1863. President Lincoln also selected a day for giving thanks, and that is the day that Americans celebrate today. When researching the heritage of Thanksgiving traditions, it has been found that the United States is rich in Christian history and Biblical observances.
In the heart of the original and the national Thanksgiving traditions, be sure to take the time to reflect on all that there is to thank God for every year. Make spending time with the Lord as much a part of a family remembrance as a Thanksgiving parade. When watching a parade and eating a wonderful turkey feast, remember to add prayers of thanks and worshipful praise to every family's holiday.
Thanksgiving PlaysThanksgiving stories abound throughout academic and entertainment literature that spotlight the unusually daring adventures of a few Pilgrims who set sail for the New World in the early 1600's. Many are written for children's and adult literature are written from authentic accounts taken from the diaries of real Pilgrims. An extensive collection of stories have been written and produced for Americans of all ages. Some of the most famous and interesting of children's Thanksgiving plays have been those about the special Indian that God used in an uncommon way. As many Thanksgiving plays and stories remind us, Squanto only lived about two years after first meeting his new found friends and just before death, expressed his desire to go to heaven. "I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord." (Psalms 116:17)
Many scripts for children that have been written about Squanto and the Pilgrims have served to involve children through an historical perspective of Thanksgiving. Some of the plays about Squanto are delightful as well because of the character roles involved. Children love dressing up like Indians and Pilgrims since Squanto's story is one of the more exceptional Thanksgiving stories to reenact. There are many Thanksgiving stories regarding the historical, autumn celebration in which the Pilgrims and Indians thanked God for the miracle of survival in the New World.
Perhaps no other stories can show the intricate weave of God's plan for providing assistance to the Pilgrims in a powerful way as much as the story of Squanto. Many years before the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Squanto was a young boy who was captured by an exploration crew from Britain. Thanksgiving stories based on true accounts tell of his subsequent education in the English language and ways. Eventually, he was returned to his homeland with another group of explorers and set free. According to historical records, he was later captured by Spaniards and sold into slavery. The crux of many Thanksgiving plays is the authenticated account of his conversion to Christianity which was influenced by his Spanish liberator.
He again was transported back to the homeland only to find the entire village destroyed by a 'white' disease. According to many stories, he was there at the time the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth and carefully introduced himself to them. God used his exposure to the English language, culture and new found faith in Jesus Christ to mold him into the perfect instrument of provision for the inexperienced newcomers. He and the Indian comrades celebrated the first feast with the grateful Pilgrims.
Thanksgiving activities and Thanksgiving skits abound in schools and institutions across this nation as the traditional day declared by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 is celebrated. On the fourth Thursday of every November this nation takes a day to give thanks to God for all of the goodness He has granted this nation. Festivals swirl around the games and crafts of traditional fall objects and plays relive the Pilgrims eating with their new found Indian friends and giving thanks to God for blessing their crops. Creative ideas for traditional celebrations and meaningful skits can be found online for those who are looking for new notions.
Perhaps one of the most important events that we can partake in during this time of year is the act of giving thanks. Through His Word, God teaches us the value of giving thanks. A great idea for Thanksgiving activities is to memorize scripture that teaches us that thankfulness brings about true joy and peace. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7) Clearly there is a blessing associated with giving thanks. Thanksgiving skits could include family Bible readings on prayer and thankfulness, as well as a special time of sharing everything that each member of the family is thankful for.
Using dramas and theater can be a great way to instill valuable lessons and teach about historical events. Thanksgiving skits can include the first thankful celebration with the Puritans and the Indians, speaking of how the Puritans tended to prayer and gave God credit for the blessings in their lives. A study of the Puritans can also reveal a true dedication to scripture and personal relationships with Christ. The Puritans lived a life that is believed to have been a Biblically based. "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: bur rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:4) Thanksgiving skits can provide open doors for gospel presentations and testimony for our Savior. For further information about this celebration, take this Thanksgiving Quiz.
In our nation today, we quickly rush to celebrate how great we have become, but there is a pull away from the traditional Thanksgiving activities of prayer and an ignoring of what this holiday really stands for, which is giving God credit for all good things. This season, as searches are conducted to find new and innovative Thanksgiving activities, let us not forget that this very day is a day set aside to give God glory and honor and our thankful hearts.