Today is Thanksgiving and it was wonderful. Hosting my husband’s family from out of state, our house was chaotic, loud, and busy…and I loved every second.
We ate way too much food, toasted champagne, watched football, played cards, and told stories. The kids never stopped–playing tag, hide and seek, reading books, and trying to build the world’s tallest Lego tower. It was everything that Thanksgiving should be.
It was perfect…except for one thing: my phone call with my sister.
When we got married, my husband and I made a deal–Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine. So I called my mom in the morning to tell her how thankful I am to be her daughter and how much I love her. A few minutes later, my sister called and we had a very similar conversation…but I could tell something was wrong.
“It just doesn’t even feel like Thanksgiving.”
My sister was sad; her husband, Chester, actually had a busy day planned and she wasn’t going to see him much at all. Chester’s grandmother is very sick and he needed to spend time withe her in the afternoon, but what my sister was really disappointed about was what he had to do afterwards–he had to go to work.
A few weeks ago, Chester got a job at a department store and was scheduled to work an extra shift: 7:30 pm until 12:30 am. So instead of being able to spend time with his family, Chester had to spend time with crazy shoppers. My sister’s right–that doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving at all.
I hung up the phone and told my husband about how sad my sister sounded and that I would be going to the mall later that night–not to shop, but for an act of kindness.
After we got the kids to sleep, I hopped in the car with two of my husband’s cousins, and we ventured out to surprise my brother-in-law.
We brought all the necessities: every kind of energy drink you can think of (Monster, Red Bull, Rock Star, 5 Hour Energy, Starbucks double shots…I can’t even remember all of them), candy bars, gum, and a lottery ticket–in the hopes he’d never have to work a Thanksgiving again. 🙂
And while I know he appreciated all the goodies, I think even more he appreciated the gesture. And the best part is he shared the loot with the other workers, some who were scheduled to work until 5 am.
I didn’t tell my sister what I did…but it didn’t take long for her to find out. Chester sent her a quick text message that said, “Call your sister–tell her thank you and that it was all gone within minutes!”
My act of kindness was a double win for me–I was able to help my brother-in-law and his co-workers survive a long night, but I was also able to cheer up my little sister.
Thanksgiving is about gratitude…it’s about family and making memories. I can honestly say that I am incredibly grateful for my family and for all the memories we were able to make this year.
And a special note to my brother-in-law…even though I know you are grateful for the work and the new job, I also understand that having to spend Thanksgiving away from my sister and your son was tough. I want you to know how proud I am of how hard you are working to give them a good life…and how thankful I am to call you family.