Here are five turkey templates for a pre- or post-dinner Thanksgiving activity for adults and kids. In the center of the turkey write your name for God: “Holy One, Generous God, Creator, Sustainer, Beloved One, or….” In the spaces within the turkey, in the shapes on the side, or anywhere on the page, write or draw your “gratitude list.” Add color and more doodles— lines, dots, or squiggles. The list does not have to include large, sweeping things like “family, country, home, teachers, planet, Jesus…”–though it can. Don’t just write the things others want you to say or those things you think you should be grateful for. Go for the little, ordinary things, the ones that give you delight, ease, or a moment of curiosity–“gravy, mac and cheese, a tiny acorn on the ground, colored pencils, a Zoom meeting with friends, a lizard, a colorful Covid mask, the rain.…” Part of the purpose of a gratitude list is to learn to “think in gratitude” in the same way we learn to “think in French or Spanish” when we study a foreign language. Noticing simple, specific things helps me to cultivate chronic thankfulness rather than just gratitude for the general or the extraordinary. I want to learn to be “abounding in thanksgiving” or “overflowing with thankfulness” as the writer of Colossians 2:7 proclaims.
Choose the turkey you want to use. Click on the link below the drawing. Download it first. Then print. Feel free to make multiple copies.