November 27, 2013 | Volume 100 / Number 47

What If...We Showed Thanks Year Round?

Turkey. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Dressing. Cranberries. Pumpkin pie. Can’t you almost taste all these wonderful foods? I can and will as I sit down to the table with my brother and a cousin and his family for Thanksgiving dinner.

And before we attack the sumptuous meal set before us, we will give thanks for what we are about to eat and for all the blessings we have.

But at this moment my thoughts are on some what-ifs.

What if, instead of just putting a can of vegetables or other food item in the collection basket for the food bank, we gave the food bank a $10 gift card? With that $10 they would be able to add to their stores so they could help more people.

What if we took 10 minutes of our time to send a card or note to a friend we hadn’t been in touch with for a while?

What if we surprised someone with a few flowers?

What if we offered to help a teacher with a project for his or her students?

What if we we penned a few sentences of appreciation to the pastor of the church we attend or to the doctor who helps us stay healthy or to someone who made a difference in our lives?

What if we had a copy made of a picture someone has said they’d like to have and either give or send it to them?

What if we stopped by the library to see if they could use some extra help, even it’s just for an hour?

What if we baked some extra cookies and took them to the youth center?

What if we set aside an evening expressly for family? Perhaps to play a board game or have a sing-a-long or tell jokes or stories. Or just talk.

What if we did one or more of these things at other times of the year besides holidays?

Remembering people in need at Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter is all well and good. But what about the rest of the year?

Perhaps if we did, we’d have much more to be thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving but all year long. And maybe – just maybe – others would follow our example. The possibilities are endless.

That’s my list of what-ifs. What’s yours?

P.S. As you gather around your Thanksgiving table with family or friends – or both – may your day be blessed with love and laughter.

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