Don’t Cheat Yourself, You Turkey

by Joy Donovan on November 23, 2010

My manicure is wrecked. My back hurts. My clothes are kinda dirty.

But I’m happy. My Thanksgiving has begun.

For at least 20 years, I have spent the Tuesday before Thanksgiving organizing boxes of food for the needy. Every year at my church, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder for hours filling big boxes full of Thanksgiving dinner basics for people we will never know.

This year I put bags of sugar in box after box after box, until my forearms ached, but I was glad to do it. I’m not patting myself on the back; I’m just expressing gratitude at being able to help in a small way.

Just like the first Thanksgiving with the colonists and the Wampanoag Indians, we all share food and are thankful for what we have. Like then, we still associate Thanksgiving with a huge feast, although I think we’ve added a few thousand calories and a few dozen parades over the years.

Nowadays some of us try to slide right past this holiday and run head first into the more glamorous Christmas with all its lights and glitz.  Thanksgiving gets shoved aside in a rush to decorate a house brilliantly or to buy gifts perfectly.

Don’t cheat yourself.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday and a wonderful American tradition. Let’s remember how important it is to be grateful. Enjoy our families. Enjoy the falling leaves. Yes, enjoy our food.

Take time to count your blessings.

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