Be Thankful, and Pay it Forward
Focus on what's important this holiday season, and how you can share your blessings.
"What are you thankful for?" asked a friend. I had a glib response at the time, but the question sunk in. It's been a challenging time for us, and I have been more focused on burdens than blessings. What put it in perspective was realizing where we were this time last year: unemployed and frightened of losing health insurance. What a difference a year makes.
I have always loved Thanksgiving. It's about family and food (love that!), and has none of the madness of December's holiday season. Things go wrong every year--the year the oven died mid-turkey and we had to finish it on the grill was particularly memorable. But because the focus is always on what you have and what is good, Thanksgiving is always salvageable.
Being thankful is the message of the season. Carry it one step further this year: take your blessings and pay them forward.
Thankful for your family? Consider those who don't have one. Visit a neighbor who lives on his or her own. Establish that relationship now, and keep tabs on them when the snow and ice come. Offer to pick up something for them as you go to the grocery store. Do for them what you would want others to do for your parents or grandparents.
Thankful for your health? Consider sharing it. The need for blood, plasma, and platelets is always great, and Medford has two blood drives coming up. On December 4, donate at Lawrence Memorial Hospital from 9-2 pm. The second drive is on December 15 at Medford City Hall, also from 9-2. If you go online to redcrossblood.org/make-donation, you can schedule an appointment and get in and out of there quickly. The site will ask for a "sponsor code." Use 296 for the Lawrence Memorial drive and 7355 as the sponsor code for the City Hall drive.
Thankful for the health of your kids? Remember Children's Hospital. Trips to Children's are fraught with anxiety and pain, but once you pull yourself out of crisis mode, the gratitude and hope of the place are inescapable. You can help Children's out in many ways. They accept monetary and blood donations, but also new books, videos and toys. Their website has information on all their fundraising activities, and has a great section on how children and families can participate. Go to www.childrenshospital.org and click "giving to Children's."
So please, count your blessings this season. But don't just sit there in a turkey coma. Use your blessings to bless others this holiday season.