Giving Thanks and Giving Back

Today, I was going to tell you about my finalized menu for Thanksgiving. Sure, it involves a turkey and some fun side dishes. There will be pie. And, homemade cranberry sauce.

But, the more I thought about it, the less inspired I was to go through all of the details of the meal I plan to prepare. I love to be in the kitchen for Thanksgiving. It’s my happy place.  And, it is no big secret that I love to cook and bake. I enjoy planning a big dinner and pouring over magazines and blog posts for weeks trying to come up with the perfect menu. I know a lot of you can relate.

As I sat down to write this blog post, though, I just couldn’t find the inspiration to write yet another blog post about planning the perfect Thanksgiving. While there is certainly nothing wrong with sharing my Thanksgiving menu with you, it just started to feel as though it was really missing the mark. Sure, food is a big part of Thanksgiving, but it certainly isn’t the point.

This has been a rough year… I’ve had two separate surgeries, there have been deaths in the family, our basement flooded, and life has just been crazy. But despite all of that, both my husband and I have a lot to be greatful for. In fact, the struggles of the past year have brought us closer than ever and made us really appreciate the close friends and family who have been by our sides through it all. We have a roof over our heads, and do not have to worry about where our next meal will come from. We are blessed.

This Thanksgiving, I will be spending the day in the kitchen, preparing a meal for people I love. It is a blessing - one that I want to share. So, instead of leaving you with recipe ideas today, I’d like to share a few thoughts on ways to share the blessing this holiday season…

  • As you know, food is near and dear to my heart. And, it breaks my heart to think of those who struggle to put food on the table. Share Our Strength is one of my favorite organizations in the fight against hunger. Right now (and until December 31st), any donation you make will be doubled by No Kid Hungry partners.
  • There have been so many accounts of flooding, tornadoes, and devastation in the news this past year. And, as a result, many families are still struggling to get by this holiday season.  Consider donating to a local relief organization or check out the Holiday Giving Catalog from the American Red Cross for ways to help.
  • Want to have a hands on impact in your community? Consider donating food to a local food bank. It’s a great way to teach your kids about giving back! You can find a food bank in your area using this search form from Feeding America.

Please know that these are just a few organizations that are close to my heart. I believe you should support organizations that you believe in, and these are a few of my favorites. I am not compensated by any of the organizations mentioned above.

I am also blessed by the many wonderful people who take the time to read my blog, try my recipes, and support My Kitchen Addiction throughout the year. Today seems like a very appropriate day to say thank you for reading. Your support and encouragement have helped to get me through the past year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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7 Responses to Giving Thanks and Giving Back
  1. Tracy
    November 23, 2011 | 2:18 pm

    Beautiful post, Jen. We’ve had a pretty rough year as well, but I agree that we still have much to be grateful for. Thanks for the reminder to focus on that instead. And have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving! :-)

  2. Paula
    November 23, 2011 | 4:35 pm

    Beautiful post Jen and you are so right. Giving thanks by giving back is what is truly important. I know that you have not had an easy go of it but the fact that you made it through the rough patches is what matters. Sometimes, when life has given us more than we are prepared to handle at times, it helps to remember that no matter what we may be dealing with, someone, somewhere it having a lot more to contend with and still getting through, so we can too.
    Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving Jen. (be sure to save some for Yellowdog :)

  3. Dana
    November 23, 2011 | 7:47 pm

    Just lovely Jen. I am with you, I want to write on this most special of holidays but somehow talking about my menu just wasn’t doing it for me. I am always impressed with your cheerfulness in the face of adversity – you are an inspiration. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. Aimee @ Simple Bites
    November 23, 2011 | 7:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing and encouraging others to do the same, Jen.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you two!

  5. Tracey
    November 26, 2011 | 9:30 pm

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the holiday weekend with friends and family Jen :)

  6. Renee - Kudos Kitchen
    November 27, 2011 | 2:51 am

    Lovely and heartfelt post Jen. I completely agree with you.

  7. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    December 6, 2011 | 6:49 am

    Jen – how typically unselfish of you to take the time to write this post amidst the ridiculous excess I see everywhere. Yes, you have had a rough year but I am glad you have felt the love and support coming from all over the world for you. We love you and this post is just one more reason we do.

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