A particular Thanksgiving comes to mind annually. The year was 1981,
I had just come home from the hospital, having given birth to our third child.
Being so close to the holiday made commitments to anyone’s invite to join them for dinner sketchy. I’ve yet to meet a little one that takes note of a holiday or their parents schedule before making an appearance.
Our friend Carrie thought of that. Of course she would, being the mother of four.
Our church made a point of delivering meals to new families. And Carrie delivered. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving she brought us a meal with all the fixings. Even down to festive napkins.
I was incredulous at the time and effort she invested for our family. Not everyone would be open to preparing a meal like that to give away. Carrie wanted to make sure we didn’t spend a holiday in want. Mental pictures formed of her returning home and serving hotdogs to her own family.
Each year that memory comes back to life, humbling me every time. Except I can’t recall what we actually did for Thanksgiving that year. Whatever it was couldn’t top what Carrie had done for us. That sticks.
That is a picture of sacrificial love. Unexpected, but appreciated annually. My wish for you is a happy Thanksgiving, one that may be filled with kindness, love, and a memory for all things good.
The upcoming holiday season has all the makings of being different, just like last year was. Changes are part of life. The part of life I don’t like. It runs along the line of kids not coming home for Thanksgiving. Or the death of a loved one leaving an empty chair at the table will always bring a heart wrenching ache.
Many Thanksgivings ago, a group of our friends joined in making a basket for a less fortunate family. One of the women had the idea of using a laundry basket; a homemaker never has too many of those. We had a good time meeting up at the local grocer to select foods to place in it. There was ample room for the turkey and all the trimmings.
Imagine our surprise when delivering this; to learn the family had no oven! We had the good fortune that one of our kids worked at an appliance store, making it possible for us to throw in a few dollars and provide that as well. I think the Indians had a saying something along the line of you can’t know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their moccasins.
As you comb your mind, desperately seeking ways to make things festive, remember two this. Things could always be worse, and don’t forget to be grateful. Retail stores barely acknowledge Thanksgiving. Your thoughts will bring all sorts of memories to mind that could easily be overlooked. The near miss of an accident, the ability to pay your bills, or maybe being thankful you have an oven. An attitude of gratitude doesn’t focus on the have nots, just the haves.
This year decreased availability of items as prices go up in everything imaginable is a recipe for a stressful season. I urge you to take stock of what you do have. Have you seen the pictures of Christmas trees made of books? Lots of us have excess books, put them to work!
Let your creative juices flow. If you’re lacking in that, check out Pinterest, it seems to be teeming with projects. Tap into the people you know that love to work with their hands. Or, try shopping in the local mom and pop markets; they may cater services that Walmart doesn’t. For some time now I have heard we should check them out, too many have succumbed to the pandemic crisis. They struggle to make ends meet too and will thank you for the support.
Praise to the good Lord above that we still have options.