Swamp Blog


Cory Cole

Whether old or new, traditions are what make time with family so memorable. Those special moments are what last a lifetime! And Thanksgiving last week definitely was filled with new and old traditions.

In last week’s blog, we talked about making your Thanksgiving this year memorable and fulfilling. Now this week, I wanted to share what some of us did to make that happen! Here is what Jesse McKay and his family did last week:

This Thanksgiving was something new for my whole family. Usually, we head to my grandparents house and have lunch with them and my aunts, uncles and cousins. However, my grandpa passed away near the end of October and my grandma was moved to an assisted living home. So this year we had Thanksgiving at my parents house with just the immediate family. Also, we combined Thanksgiving with my sister's birthday and Christmas, because my sister and her husband are moving to Colorado in a couple of weeks! So we had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner the night before Thanksgiving. Then, Thanksgiving morning, we went to visit my grandmother. Afterwards, we had a big brunch at home.

Even though it wasn't the same, the most important part of Thanksgiving stayed the same. I was able to spend time with my amazing family! My parents, my sister, two brothers, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and my brother's girlfriend. I don't get to see them all the time, so it was a blessing to spend time together and share our love and gratitude for each other!

Thanks for sharing, Jesse!


This Thanksgiving, my family and I drove up to St. Louis to visit my brother and his family. We loved doing our usual family traditions: going to see the new Hunger Games, playing board games, cooking together, etc… Something we did differently this year was our Grateful Devotional. Kind of like what we do at The Swamp, we each went around and shared what were grateful for that day. Here are some things that were shared around our table:

"I'm grateful for everything God has blessed me with and given me the opportunity to do."

"I'm thankful for having a big family to celebrate with."

"If I had nothing more than just my kids and grandkids, I would be perfectly content."


We like to do some things a little differently, like planning out a family game night! My nephew and I experienced a local tradition that has been around for 100+ years; we went to the local high school football game between one of the oldest high school rivalries west of the Mississippi River. But of course some things stay the same, whether we were cooking together or watching movies. Our week in St. Louis was definitely one to remember for the Cole family, simply from enjoying each other's company and being grateful for all we have.


"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This scripture calls us to recognize what we have in our lives, and be grateful for these things, especially with all the craziness that goes on in our world today. I think that's why I like the Grateful Devotional at The Swamp so much; to step back and just reflect and remember what God has blessed us with in life does so much to your heart. Gratitude goes a long way in times like these, so let's be grateful not just on Thanksgiving, but everyday.

Until next week,


Read “Making This Thanksgiving Memorable” next

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Dec. 29-Jan. 1

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