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I was probably 15 years old the first time this long little paper showed up.
I’m sure it was a Monday night, and I’m pretty sure I brought my 15-year-old attitude to the family room.
Thirteen years later, I’m pleased to tell you I’ve grown up a little bit and that this long little paper, the TURKEY TICKET, is now one of my favorite parts of November.
I remember mom passing it out and telling us that we were invited to Thanksgiving dinner (a few weeks later) when our papers were full and our lists complete of the things we were grateful for. It didn’t look like it would be any kind of challenge. The thing looked tiny. But then someone started to unroll the thing. All six feet of it.
The list seemed to write itself initially. Names of family members and friends, favorite foods and the simple truths I’d learned came easily. As the month progressed though, I found myself discovering and recognizing blessings that had been there all along but that I had been too busy or too casual to see.
Every year, I’m surprised by what I learn and relearn as I make my list. And every year-no matter what may be happening or not happening in my life-no matter where I am or how I think life is going at the time-I’m taken aback by the blatant goodness of God.
It’s a great exercise for any time of the year-every time of the year really. But for us, it kicks off and marks the beginning of the busy holidays by reminding us what we truly have to celebrate.
The Turkey Ticket is easy to make and works for families (great Family Home Evening!), children, or youth classes. Younger kids can draw pictures along the strip of what they’re grateful for. We found rolls of cash register paper rolls on Amazon, cut each ticket about six feet long, and rolled them up and tied them with a bow. (If you live nearby and want to make your own turkey tickets, we have plenty of paper! Come on over!)