This was supposed to be the Thanksgiving That Wasn’t.
Money has been tight so Hubby decided to volunteer to work so we could have a little extra money for Christmas gifts.
I was actually disappointed when Hubby let me know they had decided not to schedule him, because it’s easier not to celebrate when there is an excuse like work.
But we agreed that the cost of a Turkey and sides would be better spent toward Christmas gifts, so I resigned myself to not having any sort of Thanksgiving this year.
Then a few days ago a friend of mine told me she was coming down to my area for Thanksgiving, because her in-laws, who live about 10 minutes from me, had invited her & her husband for Thanksgiving dinner. She then asked if I had bought a turkey yet. I, of course, said we did not have a turkey. She then said that her husband’s company gives free turkeys to their employees and they would give theirs to us since they didn’t need it.
I was overjoyed!
We would have a turkey! So Tuesday night we went to Walmart to get a few things for our Thanksgiving dinner. We bought a box of Stove Top stuffing, a can of cranberry sauce, the ingredients for green bean casserole. We considered getting the ingredients for a Bacon Sweet Potato Casserole we like to make, but the cost was adding up so we decided to skip it and canned yams with marshmallows didn’t appeal to Hubby.
I was disappointed but I knew that making the sacrifice now would make it so we could have nice Christmas gifts for EJ and each other next month.
As we were leaving the store I realized that we had forgotten dessert. I really wanted a Pumpkin Pie. But I could just see on Hubby’s face that he really didn’t want to spend much more money. So I picked up a small thing of dried cranberries as I had all the other ingredients I needed at home to make Cranberry Oat Bars. Any dessert is better than no dessert.
As a foodie, my favorite part about the holidays (any holiday really) is cooking and eating food with family and friends. So this scaled back Thanksgiving has been hard on me. It hasn’t triggered a bad depressive episode, but I’ve been worried that it will. I’ve been trying to keep the disappointment to a minimum and be grateful for what I do have, but sometimes depression makes that harder than it should be. It’s not that I’m spoiled or ungrateful, it’s just that even small disappointments can feel like a much bigger deal when you are depressed.
Hubby was the only one that knew how I was feeling. I didn’t post on Facebook about it, and I certainly didn’t say anything to anyone else about the pie and sweet potatoes.
But then Wednesday happened.
It started when I turned on Disney Channel for EJ. Minnie’s Bow Toons was on. It was a short I hadn’t seen before, one about Thanksgiving. Minnie, Daisy and Cuckoo-Loca are working on Thanksgiving Dinner when it all goes wrong and they end up having to eat cereal. Then Mickey shows up and he, Goofy, Donald, et al bring in a full feast that they all enjoy together. It ends with Minnie making some comment about being thankful for friends. I thought it was cute. Little did I know it was going to be a sign of how my day was going to go.
Right after the short ended, out of the blue, the friend who is giving us the turkey texted me asking “Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, or Apple?”
I was like this:
Then 30 minutes later my neighbor messaged me, asking if I was home. I said I was. Next thing I knew one of her kids was knocking on my door with an aluminum pan full of homemade stuffing and cooking instructions with the explication that they had made more than they needed.
I was like this
Then a few hours later she messaged me again saying she had also made more sweet potato casserole than she needed and wanted to know if I wanted some of that too.
At this point I was like this:
By the time my friend dropped off the turkey and pie later in the evening I was like this:
Without even knowing it my friends had given me the Thanksgiving I didn’t think I was going to have.
It reminded me of when we first moved in. At church that Sunday the homily was about how even though God had just provided for everyone with the miracle of the loaves and fishes, that the Disciples had forgotten all that when the storm hit and they were all afraid. It took Jesus walking on the water for them to trust again that they would be taken care of.
I had forgotten about the loaves and fishes in my life and let the fear of the storm overcome me.
My friend’s generosity was not just a blessing because they showed me kindness, but because they reminded me that God is looking out for me and I just need to remember to trust him.
I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!
And remember, even the simplest of gestures could mean the world to someone, so never miss the opportunity to share a little bit of kindness with people in your life!