Christ-Centered Thanksgiving by Hal & Melanie Young

What Thanksgiving traditions do you have? Would you like to make your Thanksgiving celebration more meaningful than just eating too much good food, unbuttoning the top button of your pants and sitting down to watch a football game? Are you living away from family and would like to learn how to create a Thanksgiving feast on your own? If so, you may want to read Christ-Centered Thanksgiving by Hal and Melanie Young.

About the Youngs

Hal and Melanie Young are Christian authors and speakers who have raised eight children of their own. They seek to encourage parents and Christians in their journey, which they do with this book and many other books they have written about family and parenting.

About Christ-Centered Thanksgiving

This book essentially has two parts—the history of Thanksgiving and how to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. The main sections of the book are
  • Introduction
  • Readings from History and Literature
  • Songs of Thanksgiving
  • The Thanksgiving Feast
  • Cooking Schedule
  • The Feast
  • Other Great Resources

The History of Thanksgiving

The first third of the book is about the history of Thanksgiving. While the Youngs provide some history on the holiday, they also rely on the words of those who lived through the first Thanksgiving like Governor William Bradford as well as other important people who worked to make Thanksgiving a holiday such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Reading the history again reminds us how thankful we really should be. The Pilgrims went through a very difficult time, and many of us all struggle through difficult situations, but the Youngs remind us to keep God front and center and to always be thankful. We have more to be thankful for than we realize or appreciate.

To emphasize this, the Youngs give an example of a time when Hal lost his job in November. They created a tree out of colored paper, put it on their wall, and each day added a colored paper leaf on which they wrote what they were thankful for. By the end of the month, they had filled the branches of the tree and created leaves falling onto the ground.

How to Prepare a Thanksgiving Meal

The second part of the book helps you prepare a delicious Thanksgiving meal from start to finish. This half of the book would be especially useful to someone hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, or someone who is living far from home and doesn’t have family to rely on to help them create the meal, or a newly married couple seeking to form their own traditions.

The Youngs take some of the information they share about the first Thanksgiving including songs and stories, and show you how to weave that history into your own Thanksgiving celebration.

Final Thoughts

Like many other holidays, we seem to have lost the meaning of Thanksgiving, reducing it to a day to overeat, watch football, and then shop Black Friday deals. The Youngs, through their book, help remind us why we celebrate this holiday and how we should use this holiday to glorify God.