I suspect there are thousands of ways to stuff a turkey. I’ve been looking for a new recipe since my kids aren’t fond of the celery, onion & butter variety that my mother made throughout my childhood. At our house, we’ve tried stuffing with apples, walnuts, bacon and oatmeal. We’ve tried different spices and different juices. We’ve tried crunchy stuffing and moist stuffing. Just the thought of all those possibilities makes my mouth water!
Yet, stuffing a turkey reminds me of prayer… (Amazingly, I can find an inspiration to pray in almost anything!) Here’s my maze-like thought pattern…
We humans tend to fill up our bodies and souls with too much of everything at this time of year…too much food, too much busy-ness, too much stress, too many on the list for presents. We even tell ourselves, too many times, not to do so much! When our bodies and spirits are full in these ways, we drag. Suddenly there is no inspiration. A sense of dreariness settles into our bones. And that defeats the whole purpose of Thanksgiving as well as the upcoming Advent season.
Instead this should be a time to renew our sense of community and spiritual communion. God is showering us with his gifts, even during these hard economic times. We receive blessings every day. But if we are too filled up with other things, we don’t see and we have no room for gratitude.
With my Sunday School students and at home, I like to make stuffed characters. And so we stuff this turkey with prayers!!!
Spiritual stuffing is the very best way to fill up.
Here’s how to create a praying turkey:
- Copy and cut out two of these patterns (one with the image on it and a second sheet of blank paper cut to this shape.) Cut out a set for each family member.
- Make it a family tradition to color these. The coloring can be especially fun if you use different colors of markers. Leave some areas white. Now go over the marker colors using a paintbrush and water. The colors mix together very nicely! Kids think it’s “magic.”
- While the paper turkey is drying, write out prayers on slips of prayer. Include prayers of thanks, along with petitions for the upcoming year.
- Use a stapler and go along the edges of each turkey (set of two) to join the front and back. Leave an opening so the turkey can be stuffed!
- Fold and push the prayers inside to make the turkeys 3-D.
- Go around the dinner table and talk about what you have prayed for with this talking turkey!
- Add strings to the top of the turkeys and hang them as mobiles.
- Open these turkeys next year to be reminded once again: God is good. He answers our prayers!
This is a new tradition using the very best of stuffing! May God bless your family. I am grateful for all my Catholic connections! My turkey is stuffed with gratitude.
Ps. 136: We give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever!