I love all the joy of the holiday season – indulging in delicious food, making memorable moments and getting some much-needed relaxation. I especially love staying up late with my honey and the kids and sleeping in the next day. When we wake up, I enjoy eating brunch together as a family.
We are truly blessed and had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. As we prepared dinner, heavenly aromas of turkey and other delicious foods filled the air. In the background our favorite holiday songs were playing. After that beautiful day together, I’m so looking forward to Christmas, my absolute favorite holiday.
(My honey was busy cleaning greens for our delicious Thanksgiving meal.)
(The boys were helping with the green-cleaning, too.)
Being Joyful & Spreading Holiday Cheer
To me, Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season. Even though it was just a little over a week ago, I’ve already witnessed the true meaning of being joyful and spreading holiday cheer.
In just about every town you can find a family that’s less fortunate. So many times I’ve wished there was something I could do to create lasting change in their lives. Well two extraordinary moms, that I have the pleasure of knowing personally, have taken on that mission.
Andria Haley, a chic mom of a “rock star” son who recently went away for college, saw the need for help in her community. Driven by her pure heart and love for others, Andria organized a food drive in her neighborhood and fed twelve families on Thanksgiving.
During her food drive, Andria and her volunteers provided information on GED, ESL, ABE, job training and placement centers and healthcare enrollment for 2014. Andria wants to empower her community and teach independence. Inspired by the “success” of her food drive, Andria is developing a program that will offer workshops for resume writing, interviewing techniques and confidence-building at a local church.
Similarly, another amazing woman has made it her mission to spread cheer and give to those in need. Jackie Joann Paul, a loving mom of three wonderful sons and owner of My Three Sons Café, is truly a giver and loves to serve. Not only does she create finger-licking, mouthwatering meals, Jackie partners with an organization, Helping Hands Rescue Mission Philly , to feed the elderly and shut-in. Jackie prepares weekly meals and delivers them to elderly people who are unable to cook for themselves.
Recently Jackie shared a touching story. She and her son befriended a homeless man. They check on him regularly and take him blankets, food and offer to let him warm up in their car. On extremely cold and windy nights, Jackie negotiates lower rates at a local motel and pays for the homeless man to stay overnight.
How We Can All Play a Part
Andria and Jackie did not ask me to share their story. I was moved by their loving spirits and felt compelled to let others know that there is something we can do to help. We can all play a part by giving back to those in need.
If you’re not sure how to get involved, you can reach out to an organization of your choice and ask how you can help with their cause. You never know how much of a blessing you can be to someone. That is the true spirit of this holiday season.
How I’m going to Play My Part
I’m inspired by Andria and Jackie. In 2014, I’ll be volunteering at a local group home for teenage girls. I plan to give back by mentoring and empowering these young women. My honey and I have also agreed to organize a clothing drive for a local shelter for women and children.
What are you willing to do in order to give back during the holidays and beyond? Please share your comments with me. If you’re a mom or know a mom who’s doing great things in your community, I’d love to hear about it.
Until we meet again, take care of yourself and keep moving boldly in the direction of your dreams.
Lots of love,Erica