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Have you ever noticed how much food there is around Christmas? Everywhere you look and even in the great classic movies — tables of food and desserts.
I probably notice food a little more than most people because of my work, but if you take a minute to look around, it won’t be long before you start noticing how your office, bank and other places turn into a giant cruise ship buffet the next couple days.
Anything you possibly could want, some festive delights that only come out once a year and wonderful treats tempting us to sneak another bite and enjoy a little more. In just the last week, our tables at the office have been graciously filled with sausage biscuits, doughnuts, cakes and some no-bake cookies. All those treats with a fresh brewed cup of coffee and we all had a different outlook on the day.
I’m not sure how the tradition of food got so wrapped up in Christmas. I am happy it has, but have you ever stopped to ponder how we all end up so foundered during the holidays? Three kings, three gifts — no smorgasbord anywhere and I don’t remember a first supper painting, however, I do think St. Nicholas started something a 1,000 or so years later.
No matter how it got started, food is a special part of our being and believe it or not we still have many caring “St. Nicks” in our community today. They are the happy ones quietly lending a hand without being noticed, volunteering to pack bags of meals for kids and even making sure the elderly have food in their cupboards. They look a lot like your friends and neighbors and are inspired for different reasons yet all know that a big heart and a warm hand go a long way no matter the need.
Food brings people together and the joy of Christmas is something that brings out the best in all of us — but it doesn’t have to be just one time a year. Why not pick several times a year and do random acts of kindness to unsuspecting people that need a little help? Chocolate cake, notes of thanks and thoughtful inexpensive gifts are just as appreciated in June as they are in December.
So this year, when you grab that extra bourbon ball, I also hope you’ll grab a pen, mark your calendar and remember how food and random acts of kindness brings people together year around.
It’s a contagious act that will make a difference not only in someone else’s life, but also your own.
Don Fulford is executive director of Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland.