One of my fondest memories of Thanksgivings past started on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving morning. Members of the church where my family attended would cover shoe boxes in colorful paper and bring them on Wednesday night. After Bible study, the boxes would be filled with fruit, nuts, and perhaps a piece or two of soft peppermint sticks. The name of a elderly member of the church, or a member who was a “shut-in” (the modern term is “homebound”) would be written on a card and tucked inside the box.
Bright and early the next morning, volunteers would go back to the church to pick up the boxes and distribute them. Many boxes were loaded into cars headed for various locations in the county where we lived. My daddy was one of the volunteers that distributed the boxes and every year he would bundle me up in my coat, hat and gloves (this was before global warming) and take me with him. My family and I lived less than a block from the church. In the surrounding two blocks there were at least six, maybe seven, widows living in that neighborhood, including both of my grandmothers. This neighborhood was where my daddy always distributed the Thanksgiving boxes. Even though I was young, I understood what it meant to those senior citizens to receive the basket. Each one of the “widow women,” as my grandmother called them, was always glad to see us. It wasn’t so much the fruit and nuts, although I’m sure they appreciated that. Rather, it was that someone remembered them. Someone thought about them and cared enough about them that they took the time out of their holiday to come by and visit for just a few minutes. . . to listen to them share about their Thanksgivings past, and about what they were thankful for that year.
All of those “widow women” have been gone for years now, and my parents have been gone for several years, as well. But the lesson I learned every year at Thanksgiving remains today “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
May your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings from above!