Serving others

Marie Cimmiyotti

With Christmas Day quickly approaching there are many things to consider. For example; which gifts to buy and for whom, which holiday festivities to attend, what to wear, where to spend the holidays and finally what meal to prepare for that special holiday lunch or dinner. A time that gives us the opportunity to reflect our accomplishments, spend time with those closest to our hearts and then finally relax.

With so much hustle and bustle and chaos in anticipation for that special moment to arrive it is easy to get lost in the true meaning of the season and the reason why we ideally gather to celebrate in the first place. I know that by the time I finally sit down to enjoy that spectacular feast, I am exhausted and feel blessed to be surrounded by my loved ones.

As a child my holiday celebrations were quite different from what they are today. We did not have the opportunity to sit down to a festive meal in the comfort of our home, feeling happy and blessed. Do not get me wrong, we had spectacular holidays and we were indeed happy and blessed. However, instead of spending the day in the comfort of our home, we spent the day volunteering at the soup kitchen serving those that were less fortunate and those without any families.

After serving all day we would finally eat our meal together with other volunteers. I sometimes dreaded it and thought, "Why can't we just have a normal Thanksgiving or Christmas Day?" I did not really see the blessing at hand.

Looking back, I am very grateful for the gift that my parents gave me. It taught me the importance of appreciating what I had and the importance of remembering that there is always someone out there with less. The meal that we served was only a piece of something more. Sometimes that meal was accompanied by a chance to give a smile and a hug, or to learn something about that person that made them special or unique.

Although I no longer volunteer serving during the holidays, I am always looking for opportunities to help others. I love listening and learning about others; helping them in any way I can.This has been my favorite holiday recipe and I hope as you sit down to enjoy your holiday meals that you, too, will take a moment to remember that there are others out there with fewer friends, fewer family members and less material things.