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Giving More than Thanks this Thanksgiving

November 24, 2014

Can any more things be crammed into one week? We’re traveling, cooking, shopping, eating–some of us doing one or more of these almost at the competitive level–and on top of all of that, we’re supposed take some time to really appreciate what we have and be thankful for it.

Whew. I’m tired already.

Thanksgiving can be pretty tough…like, when that one family member insists on talking about all of the subjects you’d rather avoid, when the weather ruins your travel plans, when your team loses the big game, or when you get stuck in “black friday” traffic when you’re just trying to get to your Aunt’s house to meet your newest cousin before you head back home. But, sometimes the giving thanks part can be the hardest.

We’re not conditioned to appreciate what we have. It’s not a natural part of our human nature. Just ask a 4 year old to come up with 5 things he’s thankful for…mine is already saying thanks for that one Christmas present he KNOWS Santa is going to bring him (wink wink). We want stuff, we want more than we have now, and we’re not good at being happy with what we’ve got.

If you’re finding it hard to give thanks, just imagine an empty plate. Imagine what millions of Americans face every day–the panic and insecurity of not know where their next meal is coming from. If you have something to be thankful for, consider giving more than just thanks. Give of your abundance to help a family in need.

Any uncut fruits and vegetables or unopened food items that you haven’t used this Thanksgiving can be donated to those in need. If you’ve made a beautiful edible centerpiece for your holiday table (, find a food pantry near you at and make a donation.

And, bring that 4 year old along too. Maybe if he’s shown an example of honest gratitude and humble giving, he’ll grow up to be a little more compassionate, and slightly less obsessed with what’s going to be under the Christmas tree.

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