Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving Service

Thanksgiving is a pretty special time for me personally. As the oldest of six Thanksgiving has always been a time for family, friends and a very full house. From my earliest memories we have almost always had at least one “extra” at our house and often many more as members of the sports teams we played on that couldn’t go home for holidays joined us, or people from church or the office. I have just always equated Thanksgiving with sharing a meal with family, friends and anyone else who didn’t have a place to go or wanted to join us. As I write this I’m on my way to another Thanksgiving at my mom’s house. I don’t know how many people will end up sharing the meal but it could be anywhere from 10-20 and there will probably be enough food for 30.

This has me thinking about those that couldn’t join someone else’s table or us. For whatever reason be it schedule, sense of duty or otherwise they chose to do a job that needed doing instead of spending the day with loved ones. I’m talking primarily about the firefighters, policeman, armed services personnel, hospital staff, volunteers and many, many others who have sacrificed time with family to continue their service to us. I know for me that every year on Thanksgiving I am thankful to have such a large and loving a family and I’m proud that we do a small part to include others who for whatever reason want to share a meal and the day with us.

As I’ve gotten older and thought more about the many people’s service that helps make our lives better everyday, I’d like to make Thanksgiving a day to give a bit more back in terms of service. I’d like my children to get the great sense of accomplishment that comes with sacrificing a little bit of your own time to make the world a better place for others. Do any of you have Thanksgiving traditions of service? Any thoughts on what might be a good way to give back?

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