Dishing Up for Others

Holidays have always been a difficult time in my family. My earliest holiday memories revolve around eating very large quantities of food. I still remember the treats my mother bought and hid in the dishwasher so my father wouldn’t nd them and confront her. Sometimes it is hard to unlearn habits that date back to child- hood, but I have discovered it’s not impossible.

A few years ago a friend asked me to help prepare a holiday dinner at a local charitable organization. The meal would be shared by many people who had no family dinner to attend. It was a lot of fun preparing the food in assembly-line fashion. Laughter and merriment were present in large measure, and the spirit of fellowship and love was palpable. But the best part came when it was time to serve the food. It was a chance to personally greet and serve each person and offer best wishes for the New Year. They expressed their gratitude and appreciation freely.

Serving others was better than eating any of my favorite holiday binge foods.

In short, I completely forgot that once upon a time the holidays would have meant overindulging and hating myself for it afterwards. Serving others was bet- ter than eating any of my favorite holiday binge foods. It was just the gift I needed!

— Terry, Pennsylvania USA