What Our Thanksgiving Traditions Are Missing

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving is in only two weeks! Can you believe it?! I feel like we just started Fall, yet turkey day is upon us!

I really love all the holidays. Christmas is my favorite, but Thanksgiving is 2nd. I love the warmth of family (and not to mention cute sweaters that it's finally cool enough to wear), delicious food, and the food coma and rest that ensues after the feast.

When I set out to write this post, I was planning to write about what my family normally does, and how watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is an absolute must. But as I was typing, I realized something: some people don't get to celebrate this time of year. There are people with no family to love on, and people who spend their holidays out in the cold with no place to call home. Forget a fireplace and a giant feast- they'd just like a building with heat and something- anything- to eat.

I know a few people who spend part of their Thanksgiving serving food to the homeless. I think that is such a wonderful gift. I also started doing research and realized that most areas have some sort of "Thanksgiving box" donations. This is where you provide a Thanksgiving meal for a family. The box would include things like canned sweet potatoes (I'm from the South and refuse to say "yams", #southerngirl), canned green beans, canned pumpkin, boxed cake, dinner rolls, and a frozen turkey. After you assemble the box, you would drop it off at whatever center was doing the collection, and they would distribute it to families in need on a designated day.

I think this is such a great idea and opportunity. Even if I don't go serve food on Thanksgiving, I can still help by donating. I highly recommend that you search online for something like this in your area. I have all ideas that most cities have one.

I also think that Thanksgiving needs to actually be a time of thanks and giving to others. Whether you have kids, it's just you and your significant other, or you have a large family, figure out ways that the focus can stay on the right things.



Maybe you could have your kids make cards for someone you know in the nursing home and you could drop them off on your way to your own dinner.
Or maybe you and your husband could show up early and help cook dinner.
You could even make little cards for your family that say why you are thankful for them. It doesn't take extravagance to show love and appreciation. Thanks can be given in even the tiniest of ways.

So while I definitely plan to enjoy my holiday traditions with my family, and while I feel no guilt about eating plenty of yummy things, I do want to do a much better job of giving thanks and showing it outside of my own little, selfish, bubble. I would encourage you to do the same.


What are your holiday traditions, and what can you do to start incorporating the true meaning of Thanksgiving into those traditions?




25 comments

  1. I am so glad you brought this up. We too often get caught up in what the holidays are for us and forget that for so many people the holidays are the very worst and depressing time of the year. Not only are there people without means to celebrate, there are people having their first holiday without a loved one or celebrating what they know will be their last holiday with a loved one. For that reason, the season can be very bittersweet. I hope we all become more sensitive to that.

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    1. Exactly! That doesn't mean we shouldn't have fun, but it does mean we need to put some effort into helping others too.

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  2. This is a great idea! My husband and I are trying to make our own Thanksgiving traditions and this might be just what we were looking for. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yeah! I knew people volunteered, but I guess I didn't realize that the boxes were "a thing". haha

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  3. Hey Kristin,

    Good morning! I found your post today on Titus 2 as we were "parked" by each other.

    What a thoughtful and wise message today - to think about what we can give during this season. I love this!

    We were just talking about serving and giving in our small group on Sunday. Praying that I will be more sensitive to needs right around me!

    Hope you have a blessed day and a wonderful Thanksgiving~
    Melanie

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Melanie!
      I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

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  4. This goes hand-in-hand with the post I just wrote on volunteering--megdgonzalez.com/the-volunteer-paradox It's so easy to get focus on myself and my family, but it's vital to realize there's a whole world out there for whom our help could make a big difference. This is such a great idea of how to give back!

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    1. It really is easy to get caught up in ourselves!

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  5. Wonderful reminder and just in time for Thanksgiving. You bring up such a great point. I find that people focus on donating for Christmas and overlook Thanksgiving to donate, too.

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  6. Great post. I have on my bucket list to serve food one of these Thanksgivings, but I do try to donate when I can. Scary Mommy.com had great ways to give in the past. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    2. Yep! That is on my bucket list too!

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  7. I love your ideas; they really bring the true sense of the holiday season to life. As a teacher, I have my students write letters of thanks to other teachers and their families.

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  8. It's so crazy that Thanksgiving is next Thursday.
    Where has the time gone?!

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

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  9. Thanksgiving is such a great holiday because the main thing is to reflect and give thanks - :) Great post!

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  10. Yes! I love this! We really do need to be looking outside ourselves for all holidays but I think Thanksgiving (and Christmas) are the ones that really bring out a spirit of giving.

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  11. Totally agree with this post. Especially with all the scary things in this word, so important to help others and give thanks for what we have.

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  12. What a beautiful and thoughtful post! I do get super excited about baking all the pies during Thanksgiving and I think this year I need to focus on others during the season. I'm sure it will bring me more joy!

    xo, Chelsie @ Life with Rosie

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    1. Thank you, Chelsie! Maybe you could bake a few extra pies and donate them to a soup kitchen?

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