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Archive for Thursday, November 28, 2002

Holiday spirit

November 28, 2002

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After counting your blessings today, think of some ways to share your good fortune with others.

In Tuesday's Journal-World, Gerry Collie talked about his family's tradition of helping prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen.

"This is the one thing I can do that really puts me back in the holiday spirit," he said.

There's nothing like doing something for someone else to get back to the basics of the holiday season.

Doing things for and with family members is a natural, although those activities may take on a special meaning at this time of the year. Annual traditions bring families together, and expressions of caring and love flow a bit more freely. The biggest trick may be to carve out enough time for the cookie-baking, church-going, tree-trimming or whatever events really add to the spirit of the season.

And, as Collie noted, reaching out to people less fortunate gets to the heart of the holiday. A number of local social service agencies are acting as clearinghouses to match willing givers with deserving recipients. Generous donors can make the holiday season far happier for people who might not otherwise have much to celebrate. The excitement of the holidays brings out the child in all of us, and sharing the joys of the season with children who often do without is a special treat.

On this Thanksgiving Day, many of us will treat ourselves and our families to a bounteous dinner, probably more than we should eat. We'll take time to visit and maybe watch a little football. Some of us will pause for a second or two to ponder the many blessings we enjoy, as individuals and as a nation.

In America, the holidays often are a time of excess. Even in the current tight economy, many families will spend more than they need to on gifts for one another. Parties and socializing tempt us to eat or drink more than we should. Fun activities invite us to pack our schedules full trying to fit everything in. And yet, it's the simple, thoughtful events and moments that probably hold the greatest meaning for most people.

Nothing lights up the holiday season like doing something for someone else. As you count your blessings today, think of some ways to share your good fortune with the people around you " those you know and some you don't. Sharing your time and maybe a few dollars with someone less fortunate is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

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