There’s more to Thanksgiving than just food and football. Below, find some new ways to celebrate gratitude this holiday season.
Year after year, we gather around tables heaped with food and we say what we’re thankful for. We talk about our gratitude in posts on social media. We travel to see dear friends and family. But this Thanksgiving, consider giving thanks in a more proactive way. Show gratitude and humbleness to those who need it most, and add in a dash of self-thanks as well. Below find five ways to celebrate Thanksgiving away from the dinner table.
1. Volunteer at Your Local Soup Kitchen:
During the holiday season there are many who have nowhere to celebrate. Local soup kitchens, churches and charities often host Thanksgiving dinners for those under these unfortunate circumstances. Volunteering your time this Thanksgiving to serve the homeless not only helps the charities and people in need, it reinforces the spirit of the holidays, a time when we should give to those around us.
2. Attend a Donation Based Yoga Class:
Besides invigorating your body before the hefty meal, a yoga class on a day celebrating gratitude is invigorating for your soul. In yoga, we meditate on love for others and for ourselves, a practice uniquely suited for Thanksgiving. Also, many yoga studios offer donation based classes where the proceeds go directly to a cause. Some, like hosh yoga in Brooklyn, have their own charity programs that benefit school children or various other causes.
3. Put Together a Thanksgiving Basket: Charities like the Salvation Army put together food baskets for families who cannot afford a Thanksgiving feast, or shut-ins who can’t get out to buy the ingredients. You can help out by donating food or money to the organization, or by volunteering to deliver the meal to the family. Seeing the look of surprise and appreciation on the faces of the families you help will warm your soul. But most importantly, it will change their day for the better.
4. Write a Thank You Note:
Instead of shoving tupperware containers full of pie and mashed potatoes into your guest’s hands as they walk out the door, give them a note of gratitude. Tell them why you’re thankful to have them in your life, a sentiment that will stick with them far longer than their post-meal food coma.
5. Donate Your Leftovers:
Many charities take donations of leftovers after Thanksgiving. To find such charities, call your local food bank, who should have a list of the places you can donate. If you’d rather cut out the middle-man, there’s nothing wrong with taking to the streets with a cart of food and handing it out to the hungry. Do you really want to eat turkey sandwiches for a week anyways?