This Thursday, families on the East End, like those across the rest of the country, will come together to celebrate that most traditional of American holidays, Thanksgiving.
It’s a holiday said to have been first observed by the Puritan settlers who, one imagines, were truly grateful to have survived in the hostile environment of the New World, thanks in no small part to the Native Americans who showed them how to plant and harvest their first crops.
Today, when we celebrate Thanksgiving, we typically feast on plump turkeys with all the trimmings, not to mention a dessert menu featuring pies of every variety. During the day, we get to catch up with our families and friends, and those who are not comatose from overeating might venture forth into the great outdoors to walk it off or into the family room to tune into a football game nobody really cares about or plot “Black Friday” shopping strategies.
Americans are a generous bunch, by and large, and Thanksgiving, as the kickoff of the annual holiday season, is also the time of year many start thinking of making a difference in their communities.
When we are too full to take another nibble of candied yams or green beans, let’s take a moment to remember that there are people in this country who cannot afford to put food on the table. Help them out by making a donation to your local food pantry.
Remember, too, that there are people in our neighborhoods who can’t afford to buy their child a warm winter coat. Donate your gently used clothing to one of the many clothing drives taking place across the East End.
And then there are families whose children can only dream of finding under the Christmas tree one of those toys they see being incessantly advertised on TV at this time of year. When you shop for gifts, remember to pick up a little something extra to donate to one of the many toy drives around town.
One of the best ways to show you are thankful is to share with others who are less fortunate. And it feels just as good, although not in such a filling way, as a Thanksgiving feast with loved ones.