Sunday, December 1, 2013

Learning to Give and Receive this Thanksgiving

In a little over 3 hours (Hawaii time, that is), I will have been in Maui for a month.   Moving by yourself  is stressful.   When it happens closer to the holidays, it's even more challenging.   

You think about what you'd be doing if you were at home.     
Activities that you'll miss.   
Friends that you'll miss.   
Food that you'll miss (it is Thanksgiving after all).   

I didn't know what would happen this year.   
Would I just sit by the pool and soak up the sun?   
Take a little road trip?   
Enjoy a movie marathon?  (Harry Potter on ABC Family, I'm talking to you)
Would I feel like it was a holiday or just a day off work?

Here's the good news:  I was blessed this year to both give and receive the gift of Thanksgiving.
My first Aloha Thanksgiving 
Giving Thanks
We brought Thanksgiving Dinner from work to serve local families in need.   Turkey and all the fixings. Pumpkin Pie.   Coffee.    We served the buffet, poured the drinks, bussed the tables and delivered the pie.   After dishing up the pie, I got to the fun stuff:  helping  make turkey hats.   We brought the supplies for crafts, not knowing how many kids would attend.  Would they be interested?  Yes.   Now we know.   You can't go wrong with turkey hats.   On adults or children.   I wore my hat with pride.    

It is a blessing to serve others.

Receiving Thanks
I was also invited to be a guest for Thanksgiving.   It's tradition here for those from work without family on-island to get together to share the holidays.   Turkey.  Ham.  Stuffing.  Potatoes.  Green Bean Casserole. World Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake.  (it really was that good!).   Wine.  Karaoke.  

Now karaoke may not be a traditional Thanksgiving activity, but it made for an awesome evening.  We sang for hours.  Summer Nights?  Check.  Don't Stop Believing?  Check Check.   

For years I've invited friends for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I like hosting and cooking.     It's been a while since I've been on the receiving end.   It is such a good feeling to be included.  Especially when you're new and far away from home.   

The holiday season is just starting.   If you have a chance this December, please share some joy with someone new.   Invite them to the tree lighting, parade, cookie exchange, ugly sweater party or dinner.   Introduce them to your friends or family.

It makes a huge difference.   
Both for the giver and the receiver. 

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