“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Dr. Seuss
Since I was a little girl, this iconic line from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas has caused me to reflect on the true spirit of the holidays. I think as you grow older, the list of things you “want” becomes smaller each year because those things cannot be bought. Things like time with family, enjoying hot cocoa and holiday movies in front of a fire, or looking at lights and decorations as you drive around town become what matters most. The holidays are truly about making memories, carrying on family traditions, and taking a moment to pause and reflect while looking ahead to the future.
Those ideals were reinforced recently at the Foodbank’s 2nd annual Thanksgiving Together event which provided complete holiday meals for 735 families in the bi-state region, allowing them to enjoy a healthy and nutritious meal…together. The hugs, tears, and “thanks” we received during the 3-hour food distribution were real. They were powerful. They reminded us how important our work at the Foodbank is to real people – our neighbors – who are just hoping for enough food to feed their families this holiday season.
In the midst of all that comes with this time of year, I also want to take a moment to thank everyone that supports the mission of the St Louis Area Foodbank through your financial donations, volunteering your time and donating food that helps us feed nearly 400,000 people across 26 counties in Missouri and Illinois each year. Food distributions like Thanksgiving Together don’t happen without the support of the community.
Because I am so grateful for all that you do, my wish for you this holiday season is that you and your family have every opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. I also hope that in the hustle and bustle that can so often be what we remember about the holidays, that we collectively pause, give thanks for all that we have, and take time to ensure that others are able to enjoy the holidays too. It doesn’t take much – holding a door for someone, shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, buying a meal for someone that may not have the means to do so on their own, or just giving a hug to someone that looks like they could really use one. We have all been given gifts that were meant to be shared with others, so that is my challenge this holiday season – share the gifts you have been given with those around you. You might be surprised to learn that kindness can be more contagious than a common cold and gives you a feeling that you cannot get from buying something at a store. Do something for someone else (that is what the holiday season is about after all) and I think you’ll discover that it means a little bit more!
From my family to yours – we wish you peace, joy and unconditional love this holiday season.