Thanksgiving hasn't always been my favorite holiday. We celebrate a falsified history and binge eat, only to be followed by violent shopping. But I do love what Thanksgiving brings: a focus on togetherness, gratitude, sharing, and community. I've said it before and I'll say it again - it is the love of people that helps me see the love of God. And of course I love eating a poop ton of really great food.
I got to celebrate Thanksgiving multiple times this year. It was kicked off with a nice little Friendsgiving gathering last week. This was followed by an excellent Thanksgiving celebration at My Friend's Place on Wednesday. My team is in charge of special events like this and I anticipated myself running around like a chicken (or turkey...) with its head cut off spewing stress out of every pore. On the contrary, things ran smoothly and it was a joyous celebration. I donned a turkey hat I made from construction paper a la 1st grade and smiled at everyone's smiles. It was great to see a ton of folks super psyched about getting a bunch of great food, serving food, having a place to be, having something to give, and celebrating together.
Here's a photo I stole from the My Friend's Place facebook page of staff and some of our awesome volunteers.
Here's another photo I stole of myself with a couple of turkeys, and some paper turkeys too...OHHH
A definite highlight of the day was when one of our clients came up to me and said "Freddie, I'm so glad to see you - it always puts a smile on my face." Felt good. But you know what felt even better? Getting to genuinely say the same for him.
On Thanksgiving day we had a nice little gathering at our house with some friends and families from our neighborhood. It was great to have folks over and not just eat together, but eat together OUTSIDE! Oh, California - you and your sun.
I am so blessed to share time and love with all these beautiful folks and am full of gratitude.
I'm grateful for our community hours and the kids that come hang out with us. Every kid is super cool and they are all so funny in their own ways. Sometimes after a long day, I'm not exactly excited for community hours. But then we just be together, someone gets me cracking up, and I have a great time every single time. Love it.
I'm grateful to get to know other folks who are out here doing the same things we are and to hear about their experiences.
I'm grateful for the handful of familiar faces that have made their way into LA this week. It's so good to see Wilson friends and feel a taste of home in this crazy place.
I'm grateful for live music, farmer's markets, and good views.
I'm grateful for walking down the street with my neighbor, even if I did miss the bus.
As this time of Thanks comes to a close (try not to let it) and the season of Giving (see what I did there) is upon us, please consider giving me more to be grateful for by financially supporting my year here in Hollywood. You can make a donation here. Every little bit helps and gets me that much closer to my overall goal.