Beginning the Holiday Season With Gratitude

This morning I woke up early to make a freeze pies for our Thanksgiving feast. As I stepped into the kitchen and began to pull out mixing bows and flour and salt to knead together into crusts, the timer for the lights in our living room began to warm the room with a soft glow, and right in the corner, stood our ten foot tall Christmas tree- blazing with welcome and beauty. I stopped my baking to just stare at it for a few moments. I had actually forgotten it was there! You see, we hold to tradition pretty fiercely around here, and have always been firmly in the camp of where we wait to put the Christmas tree up after Thanksgiving.

How is your heart preparing for a Thanksgiving tomorrow? Thanksgiving eve is in many ways the eve of the whole holiday season. And when the glow of all to come and the celebration of God with us, is at the center of our thanks, our hearts can truly rejoice!

This year though, things are different.

Our calendar looked a bit daunting, our college girl was only going to be home for a few days before extended family arrived and the annual decorating of the tree seemed like something that would be impossible to do all together unless we put it up early.

So, we chose togetherness over tradition- and I’m so thankful we did! I didn’t know how the glow of Christmas ahead, right there in my living room would actually prepare my heart for a Thanksgiving full of so much meaning…

Christmas tree decorating debates aside, we can all gather around the reality that Thanksgiving is our entrance into the holiday season. And when we look forward to celebrating the Incarnation- the time when God humbled himself to become one of us, to be close to us, to be God with us– there is no better way to begin the season than with thanks.

As we fluff pillows for guests, roast turkeys and simmer gravy, whip mashed potatoes and dollop whip cream on pumpkin pies, may our hearts be settled with thanks for the One whom all our gifts and blessings are rooted in. It is all because of Him. Every part.

May Thanksgiving set the tone for each of our hearts in each of our homes this holiday season. Its a wonderful beginning.

With great hope and thanksgiving for each of you reading today,

Kristen Kill

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