On the day before Thanksgiving, Michael’s coworkers were all eagerly sharing their holiday plans with each other. Some were traveling to their hometowns, others were heading to the lake, and a few were even planning to celebrate in style with their spouses at posh hotels.
Michael, however, was not one for extravagant celebrations. He didn’t have a family of his own, nor was he in a relationship, so he typically preferred to treat himself to a fancy dinner or a solo trip to Las Vegas as a way to unwind and de-stress.
This particular Thanksgiving, Michael had made plans to spend the holiday with a single friend, but at the last minute, his friend announced that he had met someone and they would be celebrating together.
Michael’s life had been marked by loneliness and loss since childhood. His mother would often leave him with relatives while she worked, and eventually she never returned. When his aunt and uncle passed away, Michael was left without any family to spend holidays with.
As Thanksgiving day arrived, Michael gazed at the abundance of food he had prepared and realized that it was far too much for him to enjoy alone. Suddenly, he had a brilliant idea to turn his feast into a celebration to share with those in need. He thought of the homeless shelter located near his workplace that he would often pass by.
Michael spent the entire afternoon cooking some of his favorite Thanksgiving dishes, including a roasted turkey, apple pie, beef and mushroom casserole, and more. He couldn’t help but think to himself, “I should have thought of doing this years ago!” as he carefully packed the food into foil containers to bring to the shelter.
When he arrived, Michael welcomed everyone to join him at the table for a warm and satisfying meal. The guests were amazed by the delicious spread, with one young boy from the shelter exclaiming, “I’ve never tasted food like this before!”
Feeling fulfilled, Michael promised to bring meals during future holidays. As he was about to help himself to some food, he noticed a lone boy, barefoot and sitting quietly in the corner of the room.
With a kind heart, Michael approached the boy with a plate filled with turkey and other holiday favorites. “Here you go, young man,” he said, offering the food.
The boy looked up at him with tears in his eyes and reluctantly took the plate, muttering a quiet “thank you.” “My mom used to make this food for me,” he said wistfully, “but now she works all day just to save money for a better home.” He went on to explain that his mother would pick him up late at night and drop him off at the shelter in the morning.
As the boy spoke, Michael couldn’t help but see himself in the child. He too had experienced abandonment and loneliness in his own youth, as his mother would leave him with relatives to work and never came back. After the passing of his aunt and uncle, Michael was left without a family to spend holidays with.
Determined to prevent a similar situation from occurring, Michael made a promise to assist. As he waited for the mother of the child to come back to the shelter, he offered her a highly compensated job which would require fewer working hours.
“Are you serious about this?” The woman asked, astounded at the opportunity to work as Michael’s assistant.
“Of course,” Michael replied with a smile. “I am in need of a diligent secretary, and your son Damon informed me of your tireless work ethic. That is enough proof of your determination and hard work.”
Tears of gratitude filled Lindy’s eyes as she gratefully accepted the job offer. After the Thanksgiving holiday, she began working for Michael and remained forever grateful for his kindness and generosity.
One year has passed, and Michael is now sitting at the dinner table with his wife Lindy and stepson Damon. No longer does he have to spend the holidays or dine alone, as he and Lindy have fallen in love and tied the knot.
As they sit down to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast, Lindy asks with a smile, “Shall we say a prayer before eating?”
Michael nods, taking hands with both Lindy and Damon. He prayed, “Thank you, God, for our home, for the delicious meals we get to enjoy every day, and most of all, for giving me a family. Last year, your guidance led me to volunteer at a homeless shelter, which is where I found my family. I’m no longer alone, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
After the prayer, Michael was embraced by Lindy and Damon who expressed their love and gratitude for having each other as a family.
Thanksgiving night was a new experience for Michael, as for the first time in a long time, he wouldn’t be going to bed alone. They stayed up late watching movies and eventually fell asleep, snuggled up in matching pajamas, in the living room as a family.