Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving thoughts

How far we've come from the first Thanksgiving! Men, women and children were thankful for simply surviving in the new world. The feast was a true feast. Food had been scarce and many had gone to bed hungry more than once. With this awesome bounty of harvest from field, forest and stream, came a heartfelt thanksgiving - one only those who have been without can truly give.

Today most of us sit in our warm kitchens, eating food bought from the supermarket, later watching football on tv, or visiting with friends and family. Sure, we say we're thankful, and we are, at least to a degree. Often it's a shallow and diluted thanksgiving, though, simply because we don't really know what it would be like to do without those things for which we so glibly give thanks.

There are those on America's streets who do know.

The homeless population is growing, still hurting. Children and families are the fastest growing group. Children just like your children and your grandchildren and your nieces and nephews, are without basic shelter and food, never mind the dental care and the hamburgers and the new shoes.

During this time when you think of those things for which you're thankful, take a moment and see what you can do to make a difference for these children, and for their parents whose hearts surely break a dozen times a day.

I'm partial to local charities - the food bank, the local Salvation Army, the churches and organizations that do what they can to ease the burden of not having a place to be.

Look around in your own community or town and see the need. You don't have to give to a charity if you find or know someone personally who could use the help.

Do what you can. Life is so unpredictable. It's possible that someone you know or someone you love or even you, will find themselves without a home. Pay it forward... just in case.

And do it with a thankful heart.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


  1. Great point. I think you're dead-on about our society no longer understanding what scarcity really is. It makes me sad to think of people not having enough--obviously. But it makes me much sadder to think about the fact that so many of us have SO MUCH more than we need and almost don't know what to do with it. Sigh! Anyway, nice thoughts and a great reminder for the Thanksgiving holiday.

  2. Thank you. I don't think people know how to be thankful unless they've had much less in the past.

  3. Sometimes I feel like I live very odd in this world. I share MANY frugal tips with friends and loved ones as well as workmates. But often I feel like I am speaking a foreign language because what I say is considered "old fashioned." I think part of the problem is that we are so used to the governments stepping in and "taking care of us" that we are used to it and when they don't we become very upset demanding that they do something about this and that or else.
    We have to face the fact that we live in an instant world. Everything right at our fingertips without really trying. Gone are the days when we have had to patiently wait for something. We live in a world of convenience brought on to a very large degree by technological advancements. Technology is ever changing and ever changing the way we live. Everything is faster, faster, faster so we don't "have" to wait. When it comes crashing down (kind of like our economy) we just can't function right because the lines between wants and needs are almost non-existent.
    I know people who have had everything gone almost in an instant. Great paying jobs, investments ect. Now they don't know how to survive.
    Part of the problem with these great paying jobs is that they were taken for granted like they would be there forever. People who have had these jobs for the most part have spent, spent, spent their way into debt instead of putting aside a Rainy Day Fund. They didn't worry because they were "Into their life styles."
    Now their way of life is gone and according to some news reports it may never come back again! So many people "laughed their way to the bank" and blew their paychecks in order to have a high standard of living only to see it come crashing down! So often I would tell many of my friends that they need to be more careful about spending and to put away their money! I'd only get laughed at though.
    There is so much to be said for living simple. Yes it is hard work. Going to the thrift store takes time and sometimes you have to go several times before you get what you are looking for but the savings are worth it. Cutting coupons and comparing sales takes time but again the savings are worth it. Cooking a meal at home instead of going out to eat or buying convenience foods takes time but again the savings are worth it. Gardening takes time but what a great feeling when you have a bounty at harvest time. (maybe you can share the extra with friends who are in need.)
    Repairing anything takes time and some knowledge but the time spent on these things is so worth it. I can go on and on with how much frugal living has benefited me.
    I have been able to save money and still live good. Guaranteed I don't go out and spend a lot of money on furnishing but then my house isn't totally forsaken either. I have lots of items that were given to me for free and I mix and match whatever I can to create a warm environment. I can go on and on and on about frugal living. It's just too bad some of my friends didn't get it until they were forced into it!

  4. I couldn't have said it better myself, "Anonymous"!

  5. Thanks Pat! I recently rescued a Jack-O-Lantern from the garbage pail at a school I work in. Literally the teachers laughed at me! Remembering your article on You Can Eat Your Jack-O-Lantern I asked them "Did you know you can eat your Jack-O-Lantern?" "All's you have to do is cut out around the face and cook it and you got pumpkin pie puree!" I couldn't even believe that they thought it was OK to dump a pumpkin they used for a day! Now the news came out and said there is a pumpkin shortage and that pumpkin pies would be in short supply this year! Well not in my house! That pumpkin went on to make 4 pumpkin pies!!!! Waste not want not!

  6. Good for you! I never understood why people throw out perfectly good pumpkins. Enjoy your pies! :)

  7. I didn't know you could eat a Jack-O-Lantern. I've learned so many new and interesting things reading your blog Pat.

  8. Many people don't know that, Lawrence. Pass the word on if you can!