I've found that the greatest spiritual gifts come from helping others. I've been an RN for about 17 years, and I'm happiest when I'm at work, and feel that I've actually done something to help someone. I could tell you experience after experience....but most recently I sat down with an 86 year old woman who couldn't speak English...and I was about to start an IV on her...and she grabbed me and planted a big kiss right on my lips. She told her granddaughter that she felt love coming from me. That is one of the things that will keep me going for a year or more. I still smile whenever I think of her.
Ever since I was a kid,I've thought that the holiday Thanksgiving was a waste of a huge meal that most of us don't need....but when I got to make decisions myself with my own kids, I took them to a clinic for the homeless in LA...where I helped out with the medical free clinic, and the kids helped hand out clothing and dinner for long lines of homeless folks. They complained about it at first....but then when they saw one of the actors from "ER" wearing a hairnet and helping in the kitchen...they loved it! So, a couple of them went on to eat big dinners with their own friends, but at least one still helps in the kitchen at the mission at Thanksgiving.
I went with a lot of my class at UCLA one year, who couldn't go home for the holidays, to the clinic, then cooked dinner afterward for everyone.Too much!! It's enough to do the clinic, then have wine and bread and cheese afterward. It's great. People are just glad to have you show up and help. Even the hairdressers in the area were on hand for free haircuts. That is when I've really felt I knew what Thanksgiving is about.