Thanksgiving Dinner: Bringing a Little Thanks to Others
Mmm, Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loves Thanksgiving dinner and no matter what you are serving there is just something about the day that makes it so much better than other meals. I love to cook on Thanksgiving Day. It is actually the only holiday of the year that I do. Sure I will cook for Christmas or Easter but Thanksgiving is such a nice meal to prepare.
Usually the temperature outside is amazing and you can crack a window or door open and allow a little crisp air in. Combined with the warmth from the oven, the smells of the food and the general calm of the day, it is a perfect way to have to cook for a crowd.
Although I would love to go on and on about cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and I would love to share a ton of recipes with you on the many dishes of Thanksgiving, this isn’t what this article is about. Instead, it is about looking at Thanksgiving and starting a new tradition.
Every year, as we gather around our turkey dinner, there are thousands of people that have no food, no money and for many no homes to be thankful for. There is no turkey or candied yams. There is no money to gather all the Christmas presents the following day and it is not a very thankful holiday.
I don’t want to ruin your holiday, but I would like to illustrate that despite the world always looking across oceans to find people in need, there are many in our own countries that need help.
This brings me to the tradition that you can start surrounding Thanksgiving. Why not bring a little thanks to those who need it?
It doesn’t have to be a big thing. You don’t need to rush out like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas day shouting, “I’m not too late. Here…boy…fetch me the biggest goose you can find.” But you can start out small. As many philosophers will say, “a single pebble in a pond can cast a thousand ripples,” and that is all that you are doing, casting a ripple.
But how can you cast that ripple? One of the best ways to do this is to give the gift of time. Across the country, there are thousands of soup kitchens that need help over the Thanksgiving holiday. This can be anything from serving the food to cooking it and they are always happy for the help.
Plan your Thanksgiving around some volunteer time. Go out and serve a turkey dinner while your own turkey is roasting in the oven or plan your meal earlier in the day so you can go out and help.
If you aren’t sure about giving time, there is always a call for more food over the holidays. Donate cans of non-perishable foods to a local food bank before the holidays.
Another great way to donate food is to ask guest to bring a bag full. This may seem a bit strange but so many people offer to bring a dish for the meal and you are left with too much food at the end. Sure you wrap some of it up and send it home with people but usually, after a few days, most of it goes in the compost. There is always a need for non-perishable food whether it is the holidays or not and the food bank would be more than happy to take a donation.
Remember that although we have so many things to be thankful for, there are those who don’t and they will be thankful for any help that you offer. It is a great way to teach children to be giving and a great way to teach ourselves how to be give. It may not be a typical tradition but it will be one that you and your family will cherish for years to come.