I'm not really a big Thanksgiving fan. The holiday, that is. Which is kind of odd given that I enjoyed Turkey Day as a kid.
It was fun to see my cousins. And the food was good. I still make my grandmother's dressing, referring to her handwritten recipe on a now food-stained notecard with wonderful old-school vague amounts and instructions: a touch of this and another egg or more broth (or both) if it's too stiff and taste while it cooks to determine if it's done.
But once all our families starting spreading out beyond the Lone Star State's boundaries and, sadly, we lost too many loved ones, the holiday's place on my celebration list slipped.
Two holidays too close: Plus, I've always felt that the holiday's timing was bad.
Both Thanksgiving and Christmas dates were selected, not historically set. And Christmas got there first. It's always seemed silly to me (sorry Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Josepha Hale) that Thanksgiving — in the United States; Canada's got better timing here — arrives around a month before yuletide celebrations.
Then there's the scale.
For most of my adult years, there's just been the hubby and me on the fourth Thursday in November. Our usual mini celebrations have made me more conscious of the traditional Thanksgiving feast overload.
I hate all the potential food waste, especially when so many are struggling to put anything on a table on every Thursday or the rest of the week year-round. So we've always supported food banks wherever we've lived with an extra Thanksgiving donation.
This week, I encouraged my Twitter friends and followers to do the same if they can.
If you can, consider giving to your local food bank. Its need may not be as extreme as shown in this clip, but some people everywhere are going hungry every single day. @CTXFoodBank https://t.co/fpR2Af5Gga— Kay Bell (@taxtweet) November 22, 2020
Pets and the pandemic: Then I heard about another great charitable food option. Animal food banks.
During this holiday that usually involves the gathering of families, it must be noted that pets are integral members of many families. I've seen that up close and personal.
My mother would pinch pennies until they bent when it came to her own grocery shopping, but no expense was spared for her little dog's food and treats and toys and whatever else he wanted or she wanted to give him.
While I chuckled at my mom's devotion, noting that the pup got away with a lot more than my human brother and I ever did, I appreciated how he made her smile and gave her a reason to get up every morning, even if it was mainly to take him for a walk.
Pets gotta eat, too: The support and companionship of pets has become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 also has caused financial troubles for a lot of folks. Many of them are having trouble feeding their human family members and their fur babies.
That's where the pet food banks come in to help. Alley Cats, which as the name indicates focuses on felines, has a directory of animal food banks. You can search by your location.
If you need the help for your pet, please take advantage of it.
If you can support people or animal or both types of food banks with a donation, please do.
Don't forget your tax break: Again, I know you're not giving for tax purposes. But again, if you can get some tax benefit from your philanthropic tendencies, take them.
As long as a food bank, either for people or pets, is an Internal Revenue Service approved 501(c)(3), you can claim your donation. That's done on Schedule A if you find itemizing is still the best way to file. Or if you take the standard deduction, you can claim up to $300 in cash donations directly on your Form 1040 when you file your 2020 tax return.
Regardless of how you give, the main thing is that you follow the IRS rules for donations so that you can deduct them.
And even if you don't claim any tax write-offs, please accept my thanks for doing what you can to help others and all their family members this extraordinary Thanksgiving 2020.
Here's wishing you and yours, human and otherwise, a great Turkey Day!
You also might find these items of interest:
- 5 ways pets can pay off on your tax return
- Boxing Day giving and tax tips for cool and charitable cats
- Tariffs bad for businesses & consumers, good for food banks
|Coronavirus Caveat & More Information
In 2020, we're all dealing with extraordinary circumstances,
both in our daily lives and when it comes to our taxes.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reduce its transmission
and protect ourselves and our families means that,
for the most part, we're focusing on just getting through these trying days.
But life as we knew it before the coronavirus will return,
along with our mundane tax matters.
Here's hoping that happens soon!
In the meantime, you can find more on the virus and its effects on our taxes
by clicking Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Taxes.