The proof of our thankfulness will be in the proverbial Thanksgiving pudding this year. It’s sure to be a different holiday since we’re not out of the pandemic woods yet. Rather than allowing the missing traditions to be the unrequited god of the day, how about we create a few new traditions, showing gratefulness for this year’s (weird) blessings.
As the CDC is recommending that we avoid large family-type gatherings this year for November, keep in your thoughts that this could mean a very lonely season for the elderly of our congregations. Here’s a list of COVID-safe ideas you can do at home, as a church, at a safe socially distanced event, etc. They’ll all work no matter the size of the gathering; maybe you can set them up as stations. Wouldn’t that be fun?
- Watch the Peanuts Thanksgiving movie
- Dress up with Thanksgiving-related props for picture taking. Post on church social media
- Pumpkin turkey decorating (using tiny pumpkins) (To be delivered to nursing center)
- Story-telling station such as “What is Thanksgiving” on Christianbooks.com
- Stuff-a-Scarecrow timed contest
- “Thankful Board” – write blessings on handprints on board
- Guess the number of candy corn or candy pumpkins in the jar contest
- Fall Leaves Blessings Station (put thanks on construction paper leaves on a tree)
- Pumpkin Obstacle Course (receive certain prizes for run times (based on age)
- Pumpkin Spice Lattes station
- Food collection station for Thanksgiving baskets
- Pin the Tail on the Turkey
- Deliver Thanksgiving dinner to older members along with cards/craft made by the children. For those older members who can Zoom, set a time where dinner can be eaten together.
This list of ideas is just to jumpstart your thinking. With a positive outlook, we can all find ways to make this such a special time like no other.
Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to children, youth, and adults in the local church (both large and small) for a long, long time (35+ years). Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. She is now Senior Consultant for Ministry Architects, which allows her to help churches assess, vision, and formulate their ministry game plans.