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Thanksgiving- the embarrassing bounty of it

 

I’ll never forget. Last year heading out for my holiday food shopping, there was a man on the corner holding a cardboard sign, it read, “hungry, I would love leftovers.”

It broke my heart. I was heading off to Whole Foods for some fancy vegan somethingorother and probably some organic wine and a freaking pear tart and this man is hoping for a plate of leftovers.

I ate my dinner that Thanksgiving thinking of him and if I could just bring him a plate. But I didn’t.

It was logistically impossible that day anyway.

But I always felt like I didn’t do enough. Like I chickened out.

I do a lot mind you. Well, I’m charitable anyway. I sponsor a woman in a developing country to give her work skills and job support for her family. I give to my church, I give to my PTSA, I give to my food banks and clothing banks. I write checks all the time.

But I always feel like it’s never enough. Because I know there’s still people out there that are hungry. That are cold.

I was reading magazines at the dentist’s and doctor’s offices this week while waiting for the kids at their appointments. All the issues have Thanksgiving recipes, table settings, center piece displays, pictures of pie. It’s so enticing.

I couldn’t help but think we are such a funny country to make such a huge deal over one meal. Sure other countries have celebrations and the food is paramount to the gathering, but Thanksgiving is all ABOUT THE MEAL! It really is truly. I mean right? The pilgrims are celebrating their harvest. And no, I’m not going into the typhus blankets they gave the Native Americans. Or how about the fact that most Native Americans now living on reservations couldn’t even afford a Thanksgiving dinner? Okay…. another day we’ll talk about that.

Reading Facebook statuses talk about the days ahead of preparations. The thawing the turkey, the making stock from the turkey parts. It takes DAYS. Pinterest is loaded with stuffing recipes. Stuffed.

I love food. I love eating. I love good food. The kind Martha or Julia would cook. My mom kicks ass at these holiday meals. She browns the stock, she makes the dressing, she brines the bird, she makes the richest darkest gravy you can get from a fowl. It’s amazing. Even the freaking green bean casserole out of a can is delicious. She is magic. Well, she’ll tell you it’s not magic. It’s hours of laborous (sp?) prep.

I tell her if we ate toast with popcorn on it like Charlie Brown, I’d be happy. And it’s true. Because we have an embarrassment of riches.

What is my point? Well, my point is- if you think you’ve not done enough, then go out there and do more.

There is always someone hungry, someone lonely, or someone cold. I won’t ever be content until I’ve reached out to as many as I can.

My friend Sam is matching those who need something with those that can give something. If you can reach out to a family with a grocery card or some gas money, please let Sam know by going to her page,  here.

This year I haven’t seen that man again with the sign. But if I do, I’m bringing him something.

And I pray you always have enough. Spread the love my friends.

Namaste.

 

Comments

  1. Sandy says:

    I so agree, I berate myself each time I don’t stop and share, help or offer…..like you and mom, we give, do and help always, but it’s never enough to assuage that feeling that ‘there’s so much more I could be doing, sharing, giving’ ..
    Even though the table usually holds upwards from 20 to over 30 people, I worry that I”ve left out someone or someones….
    I guess it’s good to feel that way, cause it keeps us humble and keeps us ‘keeping on with our work’
    Be blessed, I know you are, enjoy the day, I know you will, and know that ‘we keep on keeping on’ even if we miss a few opportunities to do more…Love you and yours lots….

  2. I use the craziness of Black Friday to get good deals on toys which I donate to local charities. I take advantage of the crazy loss leaders at the grocery store to pick up a few extra food items to donate as well. Then, during the month AFTER Christmas I go really nuts. I pick up things like manicure sets at 50 % off, Christmas decorations at 75 % off, mittens and warm socks at 90% off, stocking stuffers and art supplies and craft kits at 60 to 90 % off, and I hord them until the end of November, and then I donate away. By allocating two tubs in my garage to hold this bounty I am able to buy so much more than I otherwise would be able to.

    As for the folks on the side of the road, I keep easy to eat, packaged food in my car and I give that to them. I have only been rejected once. Oh, and do not give nuts or crunchy things. They usually have teeth problems that makes it hard for them to eat such stuff.

    And that is how I try to share the ridiculous bounty I seem to have in my life!

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