USA (MNN) — It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States. According to the American Automobile Association, or AAA, this holiday weekend is the second-busiest Thanksgiving travel season since 2005. Some 55 million people are on the move; 49 million are driving 50 miles or more to their Thanksgiving destination.
“Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to venture out this holiday in near-record numbers,” AAA Vice President Paula Twidale stated in a press release. “Consumer spending remains strong thanks to increasing wages, disposable income and household wealth, and travel remains one of their top priorities for the holiday season.”
Maybe it’s a long road trip, weather delays, and seasonal illness. Maybe it’s just the thought of small-chatting at the dinner table with grumpy Uncle Fred and political Aunt Paulette. Whatever the cause, Thanksgiving can lead to distinctly “unthankful” attitudes
Keys for Kids Ministries’ Greg Yoder offers encouragement to parents trying to show their kids how to live like Jesus on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the year. “God even uses our circumstances, good or bad, to bring us to where we are,” he says.
“As we reflect that thankfulness, that gratitude for where God has us, that tends to be a good example to our kids.”
It all begins with “I”
A long road trip can trigger unthankful attitudes, but Thanksgiving travel isn’t the only time parents and kids forget about gratitude. “I think it has to do with our culture,” Yoder observes.
“We’re so busy. We’re so ‘on the go’ all the time, and it’s a ‘me’ mentality… it’s about ‘my family’, ‘me’, and ‘I’… and I think pride is the issue,” he continues.
“When you think about pride, what is the middle letter? It’s an ‘I’, and that’s what pride tends to be.”
Though social media is a great tool for global communication and awareness – think of #GivingTuesday and the support raised each year for nonprofits worldwide – it can also exacerbate social ills. Read this analysis from BBC Future. Along with cyberbullying, social media tends to fuel comparison and jealousy.
These, in turn, negatively affect attitudes and the examples parents set for their children.
“Sometimes I think we forget how to be thankful because we’re comparing ourselves to the ‘Joneses’ or the ‘Smiths’ and it (our life) doesn’t look that good. But, when you think about the sole purpose of why we were created… [it is] to worship God as followers of Christ,” Yoder says.
“If we can’t be thankful for that… Maybe we need to reflect on where we are. Are we satisfied in Christ alone?”
Keys for Kids can help
Keys for Kids Ministries has plenty of free resources to help with discipleship, from 24-7 online radio to children’s and teen devotionals. You can see a full list here. Each resource serves one purpose: pointing kids and young adults to Jesus.
“We’re just so thankful [to hear about] kids’ hearts that have been changed for the good, who are now immersing themselves every day in God’s Word through the help of the Keys for Kids devotional,” Yoder says.
“We know kids, we know how to reach kids, and frankly, we want to give the tools to parents so that they can reach their own kids for Christ.”
If you’re a parent, ask God how you can show His love and truth to your kids today. Pray for the Christian parents you know, if you have no children of your own. Ask the Lord to guide and direct these parents and give them wisdom.
“As Christian parents, especially, we want to be able to lead our kids to Christ,” Yoder says. “I mean, what better blessing would there be than that?”
Header image is a stock photo obtained via Pixabay.