November 06, 2014

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Damn Thankful

The Most Sacred of Holidays:

 Thanksgiving is an oasis, the calm before the storm of the holidays– it’s a time we should all be damn proud about. Unlike most other holidays, which have been commercialized into cutthroat shopping sprees and wild bazaars, Thanksgiving manages to maintain its integrity, staying sacred and still mostly focused on the principles of its founding story; and for many, a new positive element is being added to this holiday tradition, giving thanks by giving to charity.

 Let’s face facts: The Christmas craze causes people to pursue present perfection and seek out stocking stuffers that will likely be stuffing landfills once their novelty wears off. Halloween follows directly after Christmas in terms of dollars spent on celebrating, resulting in nothing more than sugar commas and an overuse of glowsticks and glitter. Even Veterans Day is now more about used cars sales and deeply discounted furniture opportunities than celebrating our soldiers. Macy’s and “their” parade and the NFL’s “traditional” game may manage to cause some distraction, but Thanksgiving remains impossibly pure by still being primarily focused on friends, family and food.  T-Day, stuck in Norman Rockwell’s iconic imagery, is something we should all be thankful for.

If anything, Thanksgiving has evolved in a positive direction. Many people no longer purely give a damn about stuffing their faces with an obscene amount of food…they now give a damn about stuffing other’s people faces with an obscene amount of food. Food drives and charities organized around this most sacred of holidays are now as much a part of the annual traditions as arguing about whether to deep-fry the turkey and who has to sit at the kids table.

Thinking about one-uping your neighbors and giving back this Thanksgiving? Then here are some charities and organizations doing amazing things. 

 *Family to Family: Even if you live in Beverly Hills and there are no needy nearby, or you call home a remote shack hundreds of miles away from the masses, Family to Family’s website makes it easy to donate a turkey to the turkey-less. And yes, they take Paypal.

*The Salvation Army: Help yourself and help other by donating used clothing and clutter to the Salvation Army to help them be fully stocked before the cold weather and gift-giving season gets in full swing. And if you are too lazy to get in your car or change out of your pajama pants to pass by a donation center, they will even come to you in.

*Canned Food Drives: Of course the stereotypical Thanksgiving canned food drives deserve recognition. Countless local schools, businesses, organizations and clubs collect cans to feed their community. Just pick up an extra can of creamed corn next time you are out getting groceries and you are good to go. And if you want to start your own food drive, Feeding America makes it ridiculously easy. Now anyone can become a goody-two-shoes in no time.

So this Thanksgiving, whether you are in New Orleans or the North Pole, anyone can take a pause from gorging on pumpkin pie to give a damn about something a little greater.