Thanksgiving – let’s make it more than a day!

28 Nov

We rise by lifting others quote

I have so much I’m grateful for. I can’t even begin to list it all for fear of either sounding boastful or – maybe more frightening – accidentally cursing it. Suffice it to say that at night when I reflect on all my blessings, I fall asleep before I finish the list. THANK YOU.

That said, Thanksgiving drives me a bit nuts. Given its name, you’d think it’s about giving thanks. But based on the media, it tends more often to be about: A) Gorging yourself repeatedly until your pants don’t fit, B) A day off work – two if you’re lucky, C) A jumpstart on Christmas shopping, and D) NFL games.

The only thing on that list that excites me is B, so it’s not really a holiday that prompts me to do backflips – despite my attempt to cultivate gratitude in my daily life.

This year, I attempted to shift the focus in my small corner of the world. On Thanksgiving Eve, I shared this post with my Facebook friends.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 6.08.43 AMI’ve seen your daily posts of gratitude and they’re lovely. And I know that tomorrow we’ll all reflect on what we’re thankful for and realize that we are – on the whole – abundantly fortunate.

While you’re feeling the love tomorrow, might I suggest that you consider paying it forward? Thank someone who doesn’t hear it enough; make a donation (big or small) to a cause you’re thankful exists; perform a random act of kindness for a stranger who might need a reason to be thankful.

And if you DO something, please share it. We hear enough negative stories in the news – I’d like to hear about people’s hearts growing three sizes in a day! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

So this Thanksgiving morning I woke up early to deliver on my own request. I knew exactly how I wanted to pay it forward this year…

Earlier this month I posted about Cecil –  the eternally cheerful concierge at my office. When I asked what he was doing for Thanksgiving, he replied with his usual smile, “Working!”

“You’ll be HERE on Thanksgiving? That stinks! Will you at least get some turkey when you’re done with work?” I asked.

“You can be assured I will certainly get some into my claws,” he replied. (And yes, that’s actually how he talks. He also calls us his “cherished tenants.”)

Cecil usually arrives at work sometime between 7-8am, so I wrote out an anonymous thank you card, inserted some cash for a Christmas splurge, and made it to my office at 6:45 Thanksgiving morning to give it to the night guard to relay to Cecil when he arrived. While I didn’t get to see his expression, I can only hope that this random act of kindness cheered his holiday and made it a bit more tenable to be on his feet and away from his family all day.

And I’m hoping that the 50 friends who “liked” my post all ended up taking action of their own to pay it forward. From the initial comments, it sounds like some senior citizens in Montana will be receiving care packages from a group of thoughtful nurses, a woman in Michigan was delighted to have her Thanksgiving groceries purchased by a stranger, and someone in New York has a Secret Santa taking care of them.

In the wake of the senseless killings in Paris (and so many other places), when we have governors screaming about closing our borders to refugees, these are the stories I want to hear – stories that speak to love for humanity, and a mindset of abundance and compassion. Let’s let Good get a bit more of the spotlight.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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4 Responses to “Thanksgiving – let’s make it more than a day!”

  1. emphasisonjoy November 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    You amaze me, Alison Farmer. I am incredibly thankful to have someone as awesome as you in my life. I allowed two children to basically smother me to death for 4 hours on a plane so they could sleep – and I want even grumpy about it! Does that count? 😉

    • pithypants November 29, 2015 at 8:16 am #

      Back at ya, sister! Ans the only way your example counts as a random act of kindness is if the children smothering you belonged to a stranger. Otherwise – just a regular act of kindness. Still nice, just not random.

  2. Seasweetie November 28, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    My random act of kindness was Thanksgiving morning. As Kelsea and I were heading to dinner, we saw a dog running down the sidewalk, not stopping at any street, and an older woman running about a block away after him. She was waving her arms trying to make traffic stop. I circled the block and had Kelsea leap out to head the puppy off at the pass. She held him until the woman caught up. The woman then picked up the dog – a medium-sized bull terrier – and started walking home coatless in the cold and snow. I u – turned, and gave her and the dog, who was 13 and had a brain tumor, a ride home, while Kelsea volunteered to ride in the truck bed. It sounds like a silly, small thing to have done as I type it, but the lady was grateful and I hope I made her day a little brighter and saved the puppy from harm.

    • pithypants November 29, 2015 at 8:14 am #

      You never know the impact a “silly, small thing” can have. Just think of the Butterfly Effect…

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