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Click on the photo to print the template for this list.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a proponent and practicer of gratitude. I make my gratitude practice a daily one, always trying to find the good in situations and to be thankful for the blessings of each experience. Thanksgiving Day is just one of many days to be thankful (albeit a tasty one :-)).

Yesterday, though, I learned a lesson about giving — the flip side of the thankful coin.

In the late afternoon, on the eve of hosting dinner for a dozen people, I found myself facing a plumbing emergency. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that Thanksgiving would have been compromised at best and ruined at worst had I not gotten help.

My plumber, a man who has been working on my house since Jay was an infant, drove a full hour in the opposite direction of his home in order to investigate. He called in the assistance of a friend of his, and both men were here until 9:00 p.m. on the night before Thanksgiving. Both of them have wives and children at home. They gave their assistance, not out of a desire for financial reward (both charged me their regular rates), but simply because they wanted to help make someone’s life better before a big day.

In short, they gave of their time, expertise, and talent on a day/evening when many others would have (justifiably) said no.

While reflecting on how grateful I was for their help, I thought about the difference between thanks and giving. Sure, we “give” thanks when we express our gratitude. But how much do we “give” of ourselves in the service of others? I’m not talking about material things so much as sharing our gifts, talents and time.

I now see thanks and giving as two sides of the same coin, and I am now going to give equal weight and reflection each week not only on what I am grateful for, but what I have given that others might be grateful for.

Today I am thankful for my family, and I am giving them a turkey dinner.

I hope you have a peaceful day full of thanksgiving regardless of whether you live in the U.S. or not. THANK YOU for reading this blog!

Categories: Autumn, Cooking, Family, Friendship, Holidays, Thanksgiving · Tags: , , , , ,

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10 Comments

  1. That’s a great way of looking at it, Julie and hooray for great plumbers. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Great point, Julie. The thanks part is all well and good. But we need to remember about the giving, too. Perfect post for today.

  3. These are lovely thoughts, Julie. I have a similar thanks. My elderly mom has a caretaker to help with my mostly bedridden dad. She was supposed to have the day off today, of course, but she came to look after dad for a couple of hours before hosting her own dinner, so mom could come over to our house for Thanksgiving, where she was able to see her granddaughters for the first time in months. We know it was a big sacrifice of her time to do this, and we are so thankful. And I’m also thankful I was able to give everyone a nice turkey dinner with all the fixins.

  4. Julie…you are always giving…to this kid lit community…and I’m sure to your friends and family…it is who you are.:)
    I’m thankful for being here, close to our daughter and grandson…and happy I was able to prepare (with my daughter) a yummy turkey dinner with pecan pie and apple crisp for dessert! Too bad we didn’t make a video of our parade last night through the house as we pretended to be on a going-to-bed train. You would have appreciated it!
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. I’m thankful for all you do for the writing community, Julie!

  6. I like your thoughts of thanks and giving. The world would be a much nice place to live if more people did both of these things.

  7. Good reflection and something I should practise more of. Thanks for giving of your talent to founding 12×12 community!

  8. Well said! 😀 Hope you had a non-compromised/ruined Thanksgiving! 😀

  9. It is good to evaluate ourselves to see how much we give of ourselves everyday. I wish I did more and this blog post has inspired me to do more. I already tutor an ESL student in English every week but think this Christmas will work in a soup kitchen. thanks so much for the inspiration. We who are blessed with much may we give much. 🙂

  10. An awesome plumber is always a godsend! I’m glad you have such a wonderful one. We have one that saved the day on July 4th for us too!

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