Thanksgiving Showprep Ideas

It’s Thanksgiving week and let’s be honest, it’s taken a little extra work to keep gratitude front and center in our life this month! You’re not alone! 

Thanksgiving isn’t just about stuff. It’s about gratefulness for the way God reached out and invited us into a personal relationship with Him. Erik Raymon from The Gospel Coalition says, ‘The Bible teaches us that we are thankful to God and for God. This means that we are not simply thankful for the gifts of life but rather to and for the giver of life. This distinction is a big one. We learn in the Scriptures that people’s natural reflex is not to give thanks to God (neither for him nor his gifts) but to skip right over him and worship his stuff.’ Here’s an article that goes even deeper. Lots in this you can use in your show this week!
ANGLE: Who are we thankful to? That’s a richer question that ‘what’ are we thankful for. Who is this God we seek, we worship, and we put our hope in? Understanding his love and grace for us is what anchors our hope forward. Here’s some thoughts on finding a grateful heart after months of struggle. Article here!


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Shopping. Describe your experience to your listeners. The stores are already crazy. is a scarf considered a face covering? Turkeys are smaller this year. Paper products & Clorox wipes are like gold – IF you can find them! I spent 34 bucks on peanut oil at Costco just so I can deep fry a turkey that cost half that!  (If you deep fry your turkey, don’t forget to buy some gravy at the grocery store deli cause you won’t have the drippings from the roasting pan to make gravy on your own) The grocery store parking lot feels like we’re playing socially distant Tetris. How many Lysol wipes does it take to make you feel completely secure that any germ living on that handle is completely nuked?
Today they call it socially distant. WE called it “sitting at the kid’s table.” What happens when the kids table becomes the ADULT table? Sometimes we make special foods for the kids like pizza. It’s funny when the kids table grows up, but as adults we actually liked having pizza, chicken fingers or hotdogs as a side dish at Thanksgiving! What’s the family tradition that’s evolved over the years in your family? What’s the family tradition you have to explain to all your guests? What’s the family tradition your spouse brought into your family thanksgiving that your mom never did?

Maybe you heard this story 2 years ago about how an accidental text started a new friendship at Thanksgiving? Wanda Dench sent a text to a teenager she thought was her grandson, but it turned out to be Jamal instead. They started a friendship because of it. They have spent the last two thanksgivings together, but this year it’s going to be quite different. Wand’s husband passed away this year, plush she came down with COVID. Full story here
Here’s a strategy to eat smarter this week. Eat breakfast. Drink water through the day. Think fresh when you reach for the appetizers. Remember drinks & desserts bring more calories than your realize! Take a walk between dinner & dessert. Make plans to start Black Friday with a workout! Full article here

“Possessions come and go. Friends come and go. So does time. Yet God doesn’t come and go. He stays. I love what the writer of Hebrews says about this: “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you’” (13:5 NLT). – Greg Laurie
‘Satan uses exhaustion as much as he uses sin. Rest is warfare in a season like this.’ – Jon Tyson (Author/Pastor of Church of the City NYC)
“God doesn’t determine your effectiveness for the Kingdom—you do. I assure you, this is not irreverent nor does this statement take anything away from God’s sovereignty. It’s a testimony of His trust in us and His desire for His children to exercise the free will He’s given us.” – John Bevere
What’s the difference between peace & joy? Jon Piper explains it well! “Peace can be a subjective feeling in the heart or an objective state of affairs between two formerly hostile parties. Joy, on the other hand, only refers to a subjective feeling in the heart. There is no such thing as an objective joy outside of the experience of joy in the heart.” Full article here. If you want to describe comfort & joy in the Christmas season, take some time to understand how to 
My kids will only eat leftovers once. I have to be creative beyond that! I have to re-purpose the leftovers. How about egg rolls with the leftovers as filling? (Leftovers are a great discussion angle for Black Friday if you’re working ahead to voice track!) Here’s an egg roll idea you can make at home
‘They see you when you’re sleeping, they know when you’re awake… they know if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!’ (Black Friday angle on toys on sale!) Creepy gifts: Toys that spy on kids and coffee makers that track your habits here. Angle: Have you ever given a gift that sort of got you in trouble?

Brad Peterson at Life 96.5 shared: Thanksgiving is going to be different this year because of COVID-19. There is one tradition that continues this year, and it’s the American Farm Bureau’s annual survey on the cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner. The 35th Farm Bureau survey says the average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving meal for 10 is $46.90, which breaks down to less than $5 per person. It’s a $2 decrease from last year’s average cost of $48.91. Here’s the full story.
Here’s another angle to add in with that. The average American will consume over 4500 calories on Thursday! Watch the drinks, the appetizers & dessert they add up fast! Full story here on Thanksgiving calories.

DRY AUDIO – Use these in your trax this week! 
We share a LOT of dry call starters from listeners, dry artist audio and author audio you can use to start discussions with your listeners!
Here’s some examples you can use this week in your show!
3 clips of listeners talking about being thankful:
Clip of listeners talking about food struggles at Thanksgiving:
Asked the audience “What is the craziest thing you saw on your kids Christmas list?” Here are some dry calls for you:

Here’s dry calls on the spiritual side of Christmas. How it’s grabbed you so far this year:

This Christmas season has been unusual, but what’s been the highlight of this holiday season so far?

Adam of reviews the new film: The Princess Switch: Switched Again: (Vanessa Hudgens new film)  

New audio with Cain: A) Talk about ‘Rise up’ B) What has covid taught you that you’ll always remember and talk about releasing an album at the start of a pandemic? C) Talk about “The Commission” D) Live version of “The Commission”
New Audio with Leanna Crawford: A) Talk about ‘Truth I’m standing on’ B) One thing you learned during lockdown that you’ll never forget
C) Talk about the song “Mean Girls” D) Amongst your artist friends how has Covid impacted their livelihoods?


My wife has to work at the hospital this Thanksgiving, so we’re not hosting as usual. We’ll host a family gathering on Friday instead, so my brother is having us over for Italian food. that’s his wife’s specialty and she’s never tried to prepare a turkey. Use your shows socials to get replies? Or Text? Hot dogs and pizza for thanksgiving? Doing something different than turkey this year? What’s your fam having? Any chance a new tradition may form?

My brother in law is a chef and he’s on the US Olympic culinary team…. I’m not cooking for him! Are there people you are afraid to cook for? Why?

So you finally offered to host Thanksgiving for the first time, it’s a little intimidating to think about how to prepare everything and keep it warm so it’s ALL ready at the same time. What advice do you have for us to we don’t ruin Thanksgiving for everyone? (Whole Foods is offering turkey insurance this year if you screw it up!
Could incorporate your social media page to influence your show this week. Post a pic of Turkey/Stuffing/Gravy/Pie and ask audience to comment in the thread which is their favorite T-giving dish. Report findings to audience! Is gravy actually a side dish? What turned out the BEST at your table this week? Share a pic!

Made an analogy on air that the mid forties helped me re-find the wonder of Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a kid i would dream all fall about Christmas morning. I would re-write my Christmas list 14 times. I’d circle the pages in the Wish Book and draw pictures of all the GI Joe figures I didn’t have yet! This year I’m excited about some of the gifts we’re giving to our kids. I’m not taking the travel for granted to see my inlaws. I’m not depressed by the snow like when I was young living in Seattle and it was gray and cold for 5 months straight! 

What is the most bizarre/awkward gift you ever received at Christmas? Ever just hit a foul ball on a gift you gave? (Like you thought it would be a solid gift, but it turned out to have a real problem?

Is visiting Santa 6 feet away a good thing? To me that’s like trick or treating while watching someone in the house eat the candy they want to give you. Seems like torture for a kid! Will you do it? What’s one thing that you are actually enjoying about this “socially distant” holiday season?

This week we’re planning to air a lot of calls about gratefulness and generosity.  Jere’s an angle: “2020 stole so much; what did it give you?” or “How has God given you a fresh perspective on gratefulness this month?”

Jayar says, “I lock our HR reps door at 6pm. She has buckets of peanut M&M’s in her office and clearly I have no will power this fall. So I sabotaged myself by locking her door before I could cheat. Who has similar plans in December?!” How do you fight the gluttony & temptation when there are so many treats around this time of year? 

Half of Americans plan to abandon their diets around the holidays, survey finds. Full story here

Did your mother have a specialty at Christmas time? (Like decorating, baking, or a secret dish she ONLY made for Christmas?)

GOOD NEWS Stories:

Blind 97-year-old Phoenix man holds sign for cars driving by, counts their honks. Full story here.
You have a circle of influence. Look for the people in that circle and think about fresh ways to show gratitude and honor. Maybe there’s a barista at the coffee place you drive thru, maybe there’s a single mom in your neighborhood, maybe there’s a hardworking smallgroup leader at your church or a server you visit often at your favorite restaurant.  Coledo Wheeler is a Mom who lives in Ohio and was pleasantly surprised last week when her FedEx driver delivered a brand new basketball hoop with a touching note that read: “I just wanted you and your son to have the best hoop that’ll grow with him and all his friends! It’s wonderful that you guys shoot hoops with him.” Full story here

These kids found a way to send Military dad messages every day using the Ring camera at their front door! “While their father was deployed halfway around the world, these two siblings discovered that they could leave messages for him whenever they wanted through their Ring doorbell camera.” Full story here

We have TONS of GOOD NEWS stories in our site every month. 

BIT IDEAS for this week:

Thanksgiving facts. Talk about consumption, gratitude, generosity and silliness this week! Here’s a bunch!

IE: Some historical documents that recorded that first Thanksgiving have survived! The Wampanoag brought deer. Wild turkey may have been part of the menu, but it wasn’t the main dish like it is today. The Pilgrims and Native Americans dined on passenger pigeons, swan, eel, lobster, clams, and mussels. Side dishes may have included corn, beans, and vegetables like turnips and squash.

IE: Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song when James Lord Pierpont wrote it in the mid-19th century. He hoped Jingle Bells would be sung at Thanksgiving. The tune was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh.” 

IE: There’s a reason the Detroit Lions & The Dallas Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving. It was a marketing gimmick that stuck! When the Lions moved to Detroit, from Ohio, in 1934, the people of Detroit weren’t that excited to have a football team yet. In an attempt to get Detroit excited about the Lions, owner George Richards came up with the idea of having a game on Thanksgiving. He convinced NBC to broadcast the game on 94 stations across the U.S. and It worked. The Cowboys decided to follow suit years later and it worked for them too! Packed stadiums!

2020: Americans are more stressed than ever this Thanksgiving season. ” A study by Hello Fresh shows: 53% think the stress will be double this year, with one in ten Americans not even celebrating Thanksgiving. With so much up in the air this year with COVID-19, the survey found 18% of respondents will be cooking their own Thanksgiving dinners for the first time this year.” Full story here

Here’s some fun gift ideas for the ultimate binge watcher in your life! List here

How many people actually shopped on Black Friday & Cyber Monday? 174 million people! Here’s some wild stats about Black Friday here.

Carey Nieuwhof says there are 5 ways your gratitude impacts your attitude as a leader. (YOU lead your family, you have influence at work, you volunteer in your church, you speak life to your city through the radio everyday.)
A grateful leader tends to be a great leader. An ungrateful leader, well, never is.
I believe a grateful attitude is tied to an abundance mentality. I’m a firm believer in abundance thinking.
I learned this principle years ago from Andy Stanley. Nothing fuels generosity more than gratitude.
Your team gravitates toward gratitude. Far too many people despise their work because they feel underappreciated.
Grateful people are rarely angry. And angry people are rarely grateful. Ditto with jealous people.

Poll your listeners this week! Learn the new features in Instagram. It’s much more interactive when you use the STORIES feature and do a little research in how to dive in with that feature. Ask questions. Build discussion!

Tripadvisor Reveals 2020 Thanksgiving Travel Index: Over half (56%) of Americans still plan on travelling.

The Calorie Control Council says the average American consumes 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. 3,000 calories for the meal, but when you add in drinks, dessert and appetizers you are around 4,500 calories!

Potential poll… Have you ever spent a Christmas alone? Will you be avoiding gatherings this Christmas? This year have “aloneness” and “isolation” felt the SAME of different to you? 

Many Americans say this year will be the first holiday season without their family:

Tops for better tasting/fluffier mashed potatoes!

What’s the family tradition that’s evolved over the years in your family?
What’s the family tradition you have to explain to all your guests?
Woah… I felt like someone insulted one of my family members when i read this: “Would you watch a remake of home alone?”… As the wet bandits yelled “NEVER!!!!” What’s one film you would say if ALWAYS off limits in regards to a remake?

Think it’s gets dark early where you live? How about living without sunlight for 65 days in northern Alaska? Full story here. discussion starter: What’s the longest season you’ve ever lived through? What’s the winter you’ll never forget?

School asks parents to stop throwing late students over closed gate. #True Story here

What was the last album you bought on Vinyl in a store? Anyone started buying only vinyl? Music used to ALWAYS be on my Christmas list. A gift certificate to Tower Records or Musicland in the mall was a great gift for me as a student! What was the first album you actually bought with your own money?

Tower records reopens after 14 years. Yeah it’s quite different

Thanks for trying Creative Cardio Showprep!

-Scott Herrold & Jayar Reeves

***Don’t forget about the special BLACK FRIDAY price – THIS WEEK only! Click here for all the details! It’s only good until midnight 11/27/20! 



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Family Life Radio, based in Tucson, is dedicated to presenting messages and opportunities that inspire hope and lead people to live an intentional life in Christ. Last year, Family Life Radio donated over seven hours of airtime to local nonprofits promoting ways listeners can help those doing good in their community. Their promotions team was involved in over 308 local events. Family Life Radio’s annual Ultimate Baby Shower is presented nationally, partnering with local crisis pregnancy centers to help moms, dads and babies in need. The event impacted 7,000 families in 11 states with 19,500 items being donated. The annual Family Life Radio Toy Drive provides listeners with the opportunity to present gifts to disadvantaged kids who otherwise would not receive anything at Christmas. 5,600 unwrapped gifts were collected through the generosity of listeners. Each spring, Family Life Radio encourages listeners to call in and nominate a friend who could use a special blessing as part of their Love Your Neighbor campaign. Listeners then call in to help meet a need of another they hear about on air. Gas gift cards, yardwork, refrigerators and more have been provided as part of this annual event that encourages supporting and loving others as Jesus did. Family Life Radio’s passion is to connect our listeners with their local community by bridging the gap between the airwaves and real-world opportunities to bring the message of hope in Christ to life.


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2023 Membership Exclusives

January – 2023 CMB Calendar
February – Virtual Air, Digital, Fundraising and Imaging Checks
March – CMB Case Study Webinar with Dunham+Company
April – Momentum Speaker Book
May – Virtual Peer Networking Gathering
June – Member Party at Momentum
July – Exclusive Momentum content
August – Salary Survey Results
September – Member Box
October – Techsurvey Webinar
November – Special Member Devotion
December – Christmas Gift

*subject to change


Jim Leightenheimer has passionately pursued the mission of teaching, mentoring, and preparing college students to serve Christ in radio since 1982. A 30-year radio veteran, Jim implemented and developed a student radio station that started as an AM carrier current, transitioned to a low power FM, and is currently streaming as Resound Radio. Under his leadership, student radio has served to jump-start the careers of many current leaders in Christian radio stations and networks across the United States. His students, both past and present, credit Jim for being the catalyst in building their love for radio. Throughout his career, Jim has enlisted graduates and other professionals to serve as mentors to his student radio staff. He has introduced scores of students to CMB by bringing them to Momentum and, more recently, CMB University. Jim currently serves on the board of directors at WCVO (104.9 The River) in Columbus and continues to be a resource not only for his current students, but for those who are living out his legacy in radio.


Joe Paulo has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hope Media Group since 2018. With an extensive background in media and leadership, he began at KSBJ (now Hope Media Group) as Vice-President of Operations in 2017 after serving at Educational Media Foundation (K-LOVE/Air1) as the Director of Donor Stewardship and Communications. Prior to that, he led a division of Columbia International University as Director of Broadcasting until 2014, overseeing the growth of successful radio stations in Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC. Joe has also provided volunteer leadership at the board of directors and advisory levels for other nonprofits such as Youth Commission International, CMB, and Crime Stoppers of Houston. In addition to speaking on leadership, fundraising and media, Joe and Kelly, his wife, have spoken at marriage and parenting events to share their passion for marriage, parenting and adoption.