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Friday, November 26, 2010

Perspective: The Holiday Weekend

The interesting thing that I have found about food blogs is that we all come from vastly different backgrounds. The only requirement to blogging about food, really, is loving food. Therefore those who write these blogs and those who read them are as varied as a group can be, comprised of many different lifestyles and loves, but the passion for food is always present.

So this weekend, I imagine, will find us all doing very different things. Some will be continuing the Thanksgiving party, others will be shopping until they've truly dropped, some will be divvying up leftovers and others will continue to cook. Some of us, like me, will be working all weekend and others will be sleeping, relaxing, and enjoying their time with loved ones. There are as many ways to spend this weekend as there are people in America, which makes me wonder where we find our common ground.

Working with the public during the holiday season can be a complete nightmare. Tempers are short, lines are long, and though year after year television specials, banners and cards admonish us to "remember the reason for the season", no one ever really seems to. I think that reason can be different for everyone, but the desired result is the same...peace on earth, goodwill toward men. And yet...
How often does this happen? The news is flush with stories of North Korea's aggression, a bad (or slow) economy, political unrest, nationwide bailouts in Ireland, and many other disturbing, sad, or scary events. The worldwide economy has been down for over two years now and we're all trying to find ways to earn a living and sustain ourselves even while food insecurity is at an all-time high. For those of us who suffer from anxiety, the reason for the season can seem like a paltry summation that misses the point of a holiday that's been drawn into a two-month ordeal by retailers and card companies.

But hope is part of the human experience, and if you look around you, its easy to see that hope still remains. From those who throw their change in to the bell-ringer's pot to those who use this time to donate to charity, our actions make it obvious that somewhere, somehow, we still believe in peace on earth and goodwill toward men. And that hope is important. It's nothing that we can take lightly.

As I said before, what unites us is food - a love of food, a passion for food. So throughout the "holiday", please consider using that passion to give others hope. Volunteer at a food pantry or a soup kitchen. Donate to the food drives. Contact local outreaches and find out how you can be of service. There are many people this year who are having to cancel Christmas for their children for lack of funds...if you can donate even a small, new toy or a boxful of canned goods, it will make a difference. If you can donate more, do so.

Give everything that you can afford to give, and know that your gifts can and will do more than you would have ever thought possible.

-The Calm Cook

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