The Season of Gratitude: Notes from a Reader

The Season of Gratitude

Victoria readers gather the spirit of generosity during Thanksgiving, a time when so many tables are overflowing with the delectable treasures nature provides. But for those with limited resources, bringing that bounty to the table can be a challenge. One women’s club seeks to surmount those obstacles and ensure that every table is blessed with the season’s riches.

I don’t remember when my women’s club started the tradition of assembling and donating Thanksgiving baskets to needy families in our town, just that each year as the need has grown, we donate more baskets. We partner with our town’s Youth Services director, who identifies the families and delivers the baskets. We never know who among our neighbors receives them, although sometimes a recipient reaches out to thank us for our generosity. No thanks is ever needed or expected, as we are the ones who are filled with joy, knowing that we have helped families just like ours enjoy a holiday celebration.

Preparation of the Thanksgiving baskets begins in October as our members start donating the items needed for a Thanksgiving dinner. Along with the traditional fixings for dinner and dessert, we add holiday items, including plates, napkins, tablecloths, and candles, all artfully arranged by one of our members, who designs gift baskets. Right before the baskets are delivered, we add fresh produce, along with a gift card to a local grocery store for the families to purchase a turkey.

I can’t think of a better start to my holiday season than with a tradition that reminds me of the true meaning of Thanksgiving—not only to give thanks for all that we have, but to share with family, friends, and neighbors just like the first Thanksgiving.

ELAINE MELLEN
Dedham, MA

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