Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, but I can’t leave it behind without sharing one final thought. And truly, isn’t giving thanks a wonderful precursor to the celebration of Christ’s birth?

While reading the story of Squanto and the first Thanksgiving to a group of second-graders last week, one child posed the question, “How did they know when to celebrate?”

The class had performed a play about President Lincoln setting aside a day to celebrate Thanksgiving, so the boy knew no date had been set up when Squanto and the pilgrims were around. What this child wanted to know was how the pilgrims knew it was time to celebrate?

It dawned on me then that the child had no clue as to the reason we give thanks, nor to Whom we give thanks. I took the opportunity to explain how the pilgrims had given thanks to God as an outpouring of gratitude for His provision and goodness. How, after a harsh winter during which many had died of disease and starvation, the Lord had provided a bountiful harvest and friendship with the Indians who taught the pilgrims how to survive and flourish in a new land.

How often do we get caught up in the flurry of activity surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas and forget to give credit where credit is due? I found it heart-wrenching that many of today’s children are growing up without the knowledge that Thanksgiving is a celebration of the provision and bounty the Lord gives.

Thanksgiving has passed, but may we never forget to count our blessings and teach our children about the goodness of the Lord and why we have reason to celebrate.

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Read how God works in the lives of Cynthia’s characters in her debut novel, UNDER THIS SAME SKY, available in both e-book and print at