Thanksgiving is a day that many gather with friends and family to eat, fellowship, and express gratitude to one another, as well as gratitude towards the God who provides for us all.
But you might also find yourself watching football, plotting your course for the early morning black-friday rush, and scouring the web for that one “so amazing you just can’t pass it up” cyber-monday deal.
In all the excitement (or chaos), fun, and festivities, it’s important to remember that this time of year is also the start of a season of generosity. A season where we reflect on all the ways we’ve been blessed and turn our gratitude into action.
With #GivingTuesday next week, year end giving, and serving campaigns starting up at churches and charities all over the nation, there are tons of ways to give financially this time of year.
There are also many other ways you can express gratitude and generosity this season.
Here’s a few ideas…
The next time you’re at Starbucks or a drive thru restaurant, tell the cashier that you would like to pay for the car behind you.
This random act of kindness is so simple, and not very expensive, but it could make someone’s day. You never know how God may use the situation to show someone love.
The best part is that it will be totally unexpected and completely anonymous. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones where we don’t receive any of the credit.
Invite Your Neighbors
Holidays like Thanksgiving provide less awkward opportunities to reach out to others around you. If you know someone in your neighborhood who doesn’t have family nearby invite them over to your house for Thanksgiving.
Maybe you know someone who’s a little bit of a shut in. Maybe someone in the neighborhood who you’d like to get to know better. A delicious Thanksgiving feast is a hard invitation to decline if you didn’t already have any plans.
You may also want to reach out to your single friends, widows, and divorcees. There’s nothing more brutal than spending holidays alone. Whether they accept it or not, your invitation alone just might be the expression of love and generosity that they needed.
Package Up Those Leftovers
Most American households have a ton of leftovers at the end of their Thanksgiving celebration. Even Uncle Jerry can’t eat that much sweet potato casserole.
While leftover turkey sandwiches make for some great lunches all week long, consider packaging up those leftovers and delivering them to the homeless in your area.
It might even turn into a fun family activity you can do together after everyone wakes from their tryptophan naps. If you think ahead you can buy some Ziplock bags and cheap tupperware containers, along with some disposable forks.
A turkey sandwich along with some mashed potatoes, and stuffing would make for an excellent meal for someone who probably didn’t gather together with their family this Thanksgiving. Divide them up into paper bags and hand them out to the homeless in your area, or call up a local shelter to ask where you can drop them off.
What are some other ways you can express gratitude and generosity this season?