Thanksgiving is a time that causes us to reflect on the goodness God has bestowed upon us. It is also a time of fun and fellowship, where family and friends gather together. It is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about social etiquette and how we can love our neighbor by making them comfortable in our home. I still have fond memories of Thanksgiving and helping my mother cook and ready the bountiful table for guests. As a young child I would make the table decorations, making turkeys out of coconuts, (after all, I grew up in the tropics) and ships out of milk cartons. I never understood how my feeble attempt at decorating somehow looked so wonderful on the table, but I now see how my mother added my “attempts” in with lovely flowers and greens, to making an atmosphere fit for a king. I am so thankful that I had a mother and father who taught me how to be a gracious hostess and realized that this was part of teaching me to love those that God brought across my path. Whenever I use my grandmother’s tablecloths, it brings back fond memories of these times. If you do not presently have table linens, start out by buying one white cloth; this way you can add decorations to it for all the seasons. Some of you may be setting your table in a formal way with china and crystal and others may be having an informal buffet, but whatever you do, do it with creativity and an excitement that your children will glean.
We have created a Thanksgiving Projects file that includes a card you can use to teach your children how to correctly set a table. Click here to go to the page where you can download it. You may ask, “Why does this matter?” Learning to set a table and how to use utensils properly causes us to be more comfortable and to create an environment where your guests are comfortable. Even young children will be able to follow directions if they have a picture to follow as they prepare. If you do not have all the pieces of silverware, use what you have and follow it as closely as possible. It is important to realize that boys need to learn this as well as girls—we want them both to be comfortable in all situations. This may be the most practical way we learn to love our neighbors as ourselves.
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