Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Day of Gratitude, A Season of Giving

Somehow the summer has slipped by, warm weather has escaped us and I am now pulling on my winter coat every morning and warming my car up before slipping it into drive. Thursday is Thanksgiving and the start of my favorite time of the year. This is a day of traditions where I will bake bread pudding (otherwise known as the "french toast thing" to my sister-in-law) for breakfast with my in-laws, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law will make bacon and eggs and we'll enjoy a relaxing brunch, watch the parade a bit, go through the Black Friday circulars before parting ways that afternoon for Thanksgiving dinner.

This week will bring a morning of early morning shopping with my husband, sisters, cousins and anyone we can convince to join us. I don't even need to go since as of yet I'm almost done shopping for Christmas, and yet every year I crash for a few hours before waking up and pulling on a few layers and heading out into the dark, cold morning with all the "crazies". Yes I am one of them and I love it. We have gone in snow and rain and have even started one year at midnight only to get a massage the next morning and fall asleep on the table.

It means that Saturday morning my husband and I will pull out our Christmas tree and decorations and for the next few weeks up until January 7th I will get to see sparkling lights, fun ornaments and lots of wrapped presents and feel that warm fuzzy feeling inside at night when I see them. It means that Christmas is just around the corner and I don't have to have any excuse to listen to Christmas music 24/7.

Unfortunately though this time of the year can also bring about a great sadness for many. While so many of us are fortunate enough to have presents under our tree and food on our table, there are many of us who will struggle to do just that. That person could be someone in your family, your neighbor, a  member of your Church, some from your child's school or a friend. While we should always try to give to those who don't have all year round, the holiday season is a great opportunity to try and give back. If you live in New York you can adopt a child from the Winter Wishes program. I did for the first time this year and the child we adopted asked for books, it's stuff like that, that just makes your heart melt. JC Penny and the Salvation Army also pairs up every year so you can adopt an angel from their Angel Giving Tree.

If not one of those things, maybe find a way to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, hospital or even an animal shelter (our furry friends can always use some love too!). Help out at your church or local library. If you have the desire to help those who don't have as much as you do then get out there and do it. The best gift you can give to anyone this season is yourself. Spread a little love and joy this season and give back to those who have less. Reach out to someone who is in need, who is lonely or someone who is less fortunate than you. Bake a hot meal for someone and drop it off to them, drop a card in the mail reminding someone you care.

Don't think any action is ever too small, if every person did one small, good thing every day the world would be a far better place. So why not start right now.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, to you and your families.


Emily said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I always "adopt" a child through church at Christmastime. There is no young kids in the family anymore and this really helps make things merrier.

Anne@frommysweetheart said...

What an absolutely beautiful and moving post. A great reminder to re-evaluate what is truly important to us all and to give back when we are able. Thank you for sharing this and I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving together! : )