Your Thanksgiving Day can be more than just enjoying a great meal and turning on the television to search for the traditional parades and football games. How about expressing your stewardship of this day in a more meaningful way?

Here are some suggestions for making Thanksgiving an opportunity for expressing our gratitude to the Lord in creative ways:

Go to Mass and count your blessings. Start the day off on a positive note and celebrate the Eucharist. In your prayer reflect on five things for which you are most grateful in your life. Then reflect on how you can be an even better steward of these gifts.

Write “I’m thankful for you” cards and give them out or e-mail them on Thanksgiving (or mail them beforehand).

Share your Thanksgiving meal with someone who is alone this Thanksgiving. Come to our parish Family Meal being hosted in the Star of the Sea Center from 10-12 on Thanksgiving Day (after the 9 a.m. Mass of Thanksgiving).  Or look for someone, such as a neighbor, co-worker, fellow parishioner, college student or armed services personnel who may be separated from family and ask them to join in your Thanksgiving dinner.

Volunteer your time to help serve Thanksgiving dinners to those attending our parish Family Meal.

Practice ecumenism! Many parishes make Thanksgiving an opportune time to join in ecumenical services with other Christian worshipping communities, or inter-faith activities and programs with non-Christian centers of worship. Find one nearby and experience something new and enriching.

Visit the sick. Check with hospitals, assisted living facilities or nursing homes in the area to see if there are volunteer opportunities to visit with patients or residents on that day.

Help someone if you can. Extend your generosity and blessings beyond your own family. Be part of an adopt-a-family effort, help distribute food baskets, or bring canned foods or clothing to St. Vincent de Paul centers.

Take a walk. Find a place to enjoy God’s gift of creation. Head out the door for a refreshing walk. Invite family, friends or others to share the experience too.

Most important! Take advantage of the Thanksgiving holidays to focus on what you’re grateful for and the things you appreciate about yourself and others. It is an ideal time to remember and to celebrate the many blessings in our lives.