Thanksgiving is over and many people will spend today making a mad dash for the mall and big box stores trying to score those incredible Black Friday deals that are so amazing they rouse even the soundest sleepers at 3 a.m. or earlier. On Wednesday the lunchroom table at the community health center where I work was a hot mess of well-worn fliers as everyone chattered excitedly about their children's Christmas or Hanukah wish lists and whether or not they would brave the madness.
Just outside the lunchroom door was a completely different world, a world that I wish more people had a chance to see.
The hallway was filled with what looked like a hundred boxes. Each box contained potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, a fresh turkey and various accompaniments. A small card table was manned by the wonderful staff members that make up our Community and Social Services Departments and they smiled and laughed as they checked people in from the long line down the hallway. The dedicated staff made that atmosphere warm and even festive as they handed each person their respective box and wished them a Happy Thanksgiving as happy music floated in the background. The recipients in line were white, black, Asian, Haitian, young, old, well-dressed, married and single. As I walked past smiling at this crowd of lovely people, I couldn't help but remember when I was first divorced and not working how close I was to waiting in one of these lines and realized how grateful I am for what I have.
I was complaining to a co-worker earlier how I had to go to the grocery store after work and battle the lines to buy my share of my family's enormous feast, yet these people were gratefully taking their small boxes home by bus; appreciative that they were going to have a Thanksgiving meal after all.
So today, with Thanksgiving over and shopping on the minds of many, take a few minutes to count your blessings, and as Laura Rowley, a Personal Finance Expert with Yahoo! Finance tells us, "make a list of what's going right." I will take stock of my blessings: My healthy children, my family and good friends, my home, a job that I love in a place that truly cares for the people it serves, Landcruisers and Laura Rowley, and the fact that I'm able to afford food and clothing for my children.
What are you most thankful for?