This holiday obviously is about acknowledging all we have to be thankful for in the past year and beyond. It's best when spent with family and friends. And, of course, it's about eating!
Turkey and dressing. Green bean casserole. Double-stuffed baked potatoes. Celery stalks overflowing with pimento cheese. Fruit salad. Pies. Lots of pies.
That was what I grew up eating. We lived in the same West Texas town as grandparents, so the fourth Thursday of November definitely was a beloved routine. My Mom always helped out my Mam-ma, her mom, and on most occasions at least some of my mother's three sisters, in the kitchen at my grandmother's house.
The hubby and I, however, do it a bit differently. With so many good barbecue joints nearby, we have smoked brisket, some sausage, and those sides (pinto beans, coleslaw, potato salad) on our Turkey Day instead of the usual bird.
The point is do what is meaningful for you and your family.
Helping others enjoy the holiday: For some, that's spending at least part of the day serving up Thanksgiving meals to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to enjoy the day at all.
Others who don't have as much free time help make those meal possible by donating to the nonprofits that arrange the holiday — and more — meals.
Thanks to all who what they can to help feed as many people as possible on this holiday and year-round. And it's a ginormous table. The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has forced more than 38 million people in situations where they were and, for too many, still are unsure about their daily meals.
Feeding people…: Giving to your local food bank is a good way to help this holiday season or, you got it, the rest of this and any year.
Feeding America has a nationwide network of food banks that obtain and distribute 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs across the United States. It also has an online search tool to help you find your neighborhood's nearest food bank.
My 2019 post on how U.S. tariffs imposed back then were bad for businesses and consumers, but good for food banks also has some hunger-focused charities beyond Feeding America. They include:
- 7 Top Hunger Organizations
- 17 Charities to Help Hungry People (and Pets!)
- 10 Impactful Organizations Tackling Worldwide Hunger and Food Insecurity
You also can do a quick search of "hunger" at Charity Navigator for a list of more than 100 sortable nonprofits whose goals include easing food insecurity.
…and pets, too: Don't forget about all the hungry animals. You did see that link above that mentioned pets, right?
No, I'm not going to all sad Sarah McLachlan television commercial on you, but even shelter pups deserve a good holiday meal. My 2020 Thanksgiving post has more about animal food that banks help with pets' Thanksgiving (and beyond) feasts.
Tax thanks for your giving: If you're inclined and able to donate to a food-related charity, many thanks. That includes thanks from the Internal Revenue Service.
As I always say in my charity posts, I know people don't give to get a tax break. They give to all charities they support because they care.
But if you can get a bit a tax benefit from giving to an IRS-approved nonprofit, don't be embarrassed to take it. It doesn't diminish your gift and may give you a bit more money that otherwise would have gone to the U.S. Treasury. You can use those tax savings to give more!
Now I'm off to watch the hubby prepare our pumpkin pie. Hey, even with smoked brisket and sausage and all those tasty Texas trimmings, some Thanksgiving things don't — and shouldn't! — ever change.
Happiest Thanksgiving to you and yours!
| This is the fourth of this Thanksgiving week's National Family Week posts that focus on family-related tax provisions.
Yes, this isn't exactly the usual, traditional family post. But many of us have had a friend or family member who needed a little (or lot) of help and who turned to such organizations instead of coming to family.
Personally, when my family didn't know about one relative's such needs (yes, pride played an outsized role), the necessary support came from a nonprofit.
We all are thankful for that extended family assistance.
You also might find these items of interest:
- 4 enhanced tax-deductible donation options this year
- Nonprofits' tax status reviews sometimes aided by public tips
- Charitable donation tax deduction rules apply on Giving Tuesday and year-round