This time of year we are all busy with the thoughts of a big dinner for Thanksgiving. The thoughts of stuffing our faces with food and then sitting there thinking and wondering why did I eat so much goes through our minds more often than not. Then the day after is the ever too familiar Black Friday with all of the good bargains to be had. But more and more it seems that Black Friday has made its way into the day of Thanksgiving. I personally don’t do Black Friday. I tried it once and decided that I would never do it again because I didn’t like all of the pushing and shoving and the way it made people seem more mean. Is this what this time of year has come to? I mean think about it. Now I am the first to admit that I don’t go to church like I should, but I am the first to say that the good Lord above didn’t have the intentions of Christmas turning commercial. It has become about the power of money. Yes, I do buy presents, but I don’t go overboard. To me I would rather have my family gathered at home and enjoy each others company and enjoy a meal together with some laughter involved.
While I was buying my groceries this week, I witnessed something really sweet. There was a woman in her nineties and a gentleman that wasn’t with her, helping her pick out a turkey to put on her walker. She didn’t have a shopping cart but wanted to pick out a turkey. He asked her which one she wanted and she pointed out which one she would like. He then proceeded to put it in on her walker. He asked her how old she was and she told him that she was in her nineties. She also mentioned that her daughter was somewhere in the store so she does have help at the checkout. There are some nice people out there.
Last year at this time I was in between jobs and I was working in a Subway restaurant. While I was the cashier for the day, the lunch rush was busy. There was a gentleman and then a group of three women in line. When the gentleman paid for his meal, he handed me a $20 bill and said to pay for the women’s meal behind him. Before he left he also put a hefty tip in the tip jar for us workers. Some people do leave nice tips this time of the year but when the women found out that their bill was almost paid for, they couldn’t understand why someone that they didn’t even know would pay for their meal. I told them it is the season of giving, and that they could pay it forward. They said that they just might do that!
Earlier today I was walking through the living room and heard something on tv about children going hungry in this country. Now I am not sure on the amount so don’t quote me, but I thought that they said 16 million children go to bed hungry every night in this country alone. First that just breaks my heart, second that shouldn’t even be happening in our country. I know that there are those of us that use coupons and can get food really cheap. That is the time to donate to our local food pantries. We should be doing this all year round, not just at the holidays.
Now I know that some of us can’t afford to give to charities, but think of the possibilities of things that you can give. A random act of kindness of sorts. Leave a coupon that you might not use on the store shelf near the corresponding product. Tape a dollar bill to a vending machine at work. Shovel a neighbors steps off if it snows. It doesn’t always have to be money that you give. Even a small gesture of kindness like a smile can go a long way with someone who has had a bad day. Try to remember that elderly love when someone takes time with them. Help them get something off a shelf if they can’t reach it. I have offered a smile and would automatically help someone if I saw them struggling with something. They always profusely thank me and I tell them no problem and to have a nice day. It most always brightens their day. Even making extra at dinner and taking it to the neighbors next door who you know are struggling might bring a smile to their faces. Don’t forget the elderly shut in down the street who has a hard time getting out of their house, take them some extra’s of your meal and visit for a while. Just having someone to talk to will brighten their day.
We need to take time and be a little more giving this time of year. Don’t get wrapped up in all of the hustle and bustle of buying and wrapping presents, baking and whatever else you may have going on. Try to remember that there are people around you that may not have as much as you. I am so thankful that I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and a warm bed to sleep in.
A humble yet filling meal of stew and cornbread on a cold winters day makes me realize what I do have. I have donated so much clothing and household items to local thrift shops recently just so that I don’t have a cluttered house. Some of the thrift shops that I have donated to are church run and they can use all of the donations that they can get.
Remember that no matter what you have or how much you make, you can always give something to brighten someone’s day. Tis the season to be giving!