The Thanksgiving Habit
The Thanksgiving Habit
One of the best things a kid can do is to develop the habit of being thankful. Here is the story of two school friends who accept a thankfulness challenge. The wonderful surprise on the last page will make you immediately want to read the book again.
THE THANKSGIVING HABIT: THE BACK STORY (by author Jane Van Antwerp)
The Thanksgiving Habit was first delivered as a children's message in the summer of 2011 at Bellevue Presbyterian Church (WA). Kendy Easley was the adult preacher. A good chunk of the Children and Family Ministries' staff was getting ready for a camp, so I was on my own for doing the Children's Sermon. I knew that limitation when I came up with the great idea of having a thanksgiving contest between 2 "kids". I decided to make blue sock puppets to play the role of the children. It was probably the hardest Blue Box I have ever done. I had a puppet on each hand each with a different voice. I was also the adult moderator of the contest with my own voice. To add to the difficulty, the puppets had props: pencils and their thanksgiving lists. As I presented the children's sermon, the congregation was in stitches — probably because I had to remember which puppet's mouth to move and which voice to use. It went fine. But far more importantly, the kids got the message. Blue Boxes will do almost anything to get the lesson across in a memorable and compelling way. If you download The Thanksgiving Habit children's sermon for your church or school, you don't have to make sock puppets; we provide all the illustrations needed to print out or to project on big screens.
The Thanksgiving Habit is the last book I wrote and illustrated in the 12-book collection. I wanted to have 3 holiday books: Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. Watching people pick up this book at a book table, it is always interesting to see them skim the pages, thinking they know where the story is going — and then read the last page for a poignant surprise. Often they go back and re-read the entire book for clues. You see, the girl character in the story is in a wheelchair. This was very important to me as a Children's Pastor of disabled kids, but also because my husband spends the morning in a wheelchair before he puts on his brace.
Helping kids develop the habit of giving thanks is a passion of mine. I believe that giving thanks to God is transformative for adults and kids.