Thanks and Giving

This time of year is always special to me and my family. We love to watch the leaves as the seasons change and more importantly, we love that family and friends tend to gather closer together in the next two months.

But if I were to be honest with myself, I think we sometimes get in the way of what this month is all about.

One of my biggest complaints every year is that Thanksgiving comes and goes too quickly.

It seems silly to even say that out loud. After all, it comes the same time each year, we know it’s coming, and we can plan accordingly. But somehow I always allow it to sneak up on me, and then I never get to do all I want to do, bake all I want to bake, or reflect on the past year as much as I’d hoped.

Sometimes I get so lost in the process of Thanksgiving that I actually miss Thanksgiving. You know what I mean?

I’m ashamed to say that this year seems no different.

Our October has been one of the most hectic on record, and if I tried to keep up with this pace, it will be January before we know it!

So as I was driving home alone in my car recently (I know, can you believe I was alone? A rarity for us moms!), I felt like God was telling me to get back to the heart of a child.

cone-kids-fall

After all, I think the reason so many of us love the holidays so much is because we either A. have extremely fond memories from our own childhood or B. we love seeing the holidays through the eyes of our own children.

So as I started to think about this year’s Thanksgiving, I realized it boils down to two very simple concepts: thanks and giving.

Let me ask you this: have you ever bought your child a very expensive, very high-tech toy that you thought would blow their mind and instead they ended up playing with the packaging more than the toy itself? I think we take that same attitude towards Thanksgiving.

We take something that is, at its core very simple, and instead make it very complicated.

We over-decorate, over-indulge, and over-emphasize points that we think are important to our children, when in reality all we need to do is model those two very simple principles, thanks and giving.

I could sew an elaborate costume, bake an amazing pumpkin pie, and dress like a pilgrim for a play that would knock your socks off, but if I don’t demonstrate gratitude and generosity on a daily basis with my own family, then it would all be for nothing.

Kids aren’t looking for elaborate, they’re looking for authentic.

So give yourself a break, mom. Stop comparing yourself to other moms and for gosh sakes, stop being so hard on yourself. The best mom your kids have is staring at you in the mirror.

“The Lord protects those of childlike faith” ~ Psalm 116:6

Jesus tells us to have faith like a child, so the next time you’re wondering how to share such things with your children, why not ask them directly what thanks and giving mean to them?

There is no better time, in my opinion, to talk to your kids than after dinner and before bed. It is a natural time for family moments to be shared and discussed. I realize it can be hard to ask open ended questions to little ones, so why not start with a story that helps show children what the voice of God sounds like, such as the new Jesus Calling Bible Storybook?

It’s true, you never know what doors you’ll open up when you start asking your kids deeper questions but who knows, you might just be pleasantly surprised at what you hear. And if you’re not, it gives you a great opportunity to change your family’s legacy for the future.


With a passion for teaching and mentoring others as her inspiration, Sami Cone began blogging in 2009 to encourage others to live their dream life and pursue their passions. A published author and seminar speaker, she draws on her experiences as a writer, editor, university professor, performer, professional athlete, and pageant winner to help women realize their full potential in life. Sami appears regularly on TV & Radio as a Frugal Expert and has been blogging for Tommy Nelson since 2010. Sami and her husband of seven years, Rick, thrive in Nashville with their two children.