Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. It celebrates a time in our country when European immigrants were saved from starvation by indigenous Native American tribes. The two peoples came together in friendship and harmony. Through the years, this tradition has evolved to a national day of celebration, of giving thanks for the blessings we have received, and of extending the hand of friendship to others.
Earlier this week, I was touched by the news story of a grandma who sent a text to the wrong person about Thanksgiving dinner, and the way in which strangers quickly became friends. This morning, sitting in my warm home, comfortable in my recliner with a hot cup of coffee, I am reflecting on the many blessings that I have been fortunate to receive, and thinking about what the spirit of Thanksgiving means.
We each have our own ways of reaching out to others in need. Later today, Michael and I will make our annual visit to the Angel Tree, run by the Salvation Army, and provide clothing and toys for children who might not have a holiday celebration otherwise. We work with the Fort Worth Taste Project, a wonderful restaurant where people pay what they can for meals. And, of course, the Adopt a Native Elder program (www.anelder.org) gives us the opportunity to sponsor a Navajo native elder with clothing, food, and firewood.
This time of year begins a celebration of our good fortune, and an opportunity to share some of that good fortune with others who may not have the same blessings we do. When you go shopping this weekend for the upcoming Thanksgiving meal, maybe put a few extra cans in your basket, and take them down to the local food pantry. On Thanksgiving Day, food kitchens can always use a few extra hours of volunteer service.
There are so, so many ways in which we can make a difference in the lives of someone else. To you, it may not be much, but to the recipient, it may mean quite a bit. It may mean that someone cares about them, and it may give them hope. Make a difference in someone’s life. Share your blessings with others. Your heart will be happy.