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by Trever Carter

The smell of pumpkin pie wafts through the air, various cakes and desserts line the counter tops and crock pots sit in the fridge, ready to be pulled out and turned on. I sit in the front room of my grandparent’s house, brainstorming a Christmas list to appease my urging grandmother. The annual Black Friday and Christmas ads sit sprawled across the floor as my mother plans out her shopping route. We all know she won’t get to any of the big sales she wants, but it’s her time to spend one-on-one with her mom, and that is why she enjoys going.

I love Thanksgiving because it’s a time where everyone expresses their gratitude — gratitude that sometimes sit dormant or go unsaid all year. While receiving thanks from someone is a true blessing, giving one almost tops that. A heartfelt note, phone call or even text message truly goes a long way for both giver and the receiver. By the time this is most likely read, it will be the day after Turkey Day. But what’s a better way to start the Christmas season than giving thanks to the people in your lives?

It is such an easy time to shift our views and realize how much God truly blesses us. It’s almost a path set out for us, so why not seize the opportunity. I am thankful for my father, my mother who holds my family together and does everything for me and also for my brothers who keep me laughing and are constant support. I am thankful for Immanuel and the family that I have there. I could not imagine spending a Sunday anywhere else. I am thankful for the adults in my life: my youth leaders who are like second family to me and my youth pastor, all of whom have shaped me into the Man of God I am today. I’m thankful for my friends.  Lastly, but certainly not least, I am thankful to the God who wakes me up each morning, decides to give me breath and provides all of the afore mentioned things for me.

The other thing I love about Thanksgiving is that it is the beginning of such a joyful time of the year. The tree goes up, the lights turn on and the general atmosphere shifts as people prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Savior. It is a time of togetherness and community and love; I can’t wait. As gifts are given, carols are sung and time is spent together around the dinner table or the living room. As the snow and lights produce a sense of beauty, I pray that everyone encounters the God of genuine love, joy, peace and happiness this holiday season.

TrevernewheadshotTrever Carter is a junior at Grayslake North High School. He enjoys running, playing lacrosse, and photography. He also likes to write, serve with the church, and spend time with his friends.

2 thoughts on “ICYouth: Thinking about the Holidays {Trever}

  1. What a beautiful memory Trever, and an important reminder as we head into what some experience as a hectic, stressful season. We are so incredibly blessed by God! I came to Christ later in life, and Christmas has been transformed into a season of meaning, which you so eloquently shared. I hope you enjoy this season of light! Blessings.

  2. Trever, thanks for sharing this with us! I need a reminder often when my heart is feeling tugged toward that which doesn’t matter as much during this season especially.

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