By Guest Blogger Jenny Moore

A recent post making the rounds on social media really resonated. It was a “Holiday To Do List.” Item #1 read:

Buy BE Presents.

The list went on, but I was already gone, lost in the memory of a truly special holiday gathering with my family.

Through a flurry of e-mails, in advance of the festivities, we’d all agreed. Our gifts to one another that year would be short and sweet expressions of gratitude for the love that brought us together and the abundance of food that would be prepared with care and shared at our holiday table. Our children of all ages would be included. There would be no “little extras.” We would BE PRESENT for one another – and it would be enough.

Gathered around the holiday table, we listened deeply to one another, as each of us, in turn, told the story of a cherished family memory and gave thanks for these shared moments in our lives. It was rich – a gift of clarity around what matters most.

These days, my work at Second Harvest Food Bank definitely plays a role in the continuation of our family’s holiday giving reframe toward the modest and meaningful. We cannot help but be mindful that, for countless children and families, any day that everyone goes to bed on a full stomach can feel like a holiday.

As per tradition, the annual flurry of holiday planning e-mails started up soon after Halloween. Requests for favorite dishes have been issued. Pleading reminders to bring extras of this or that favorite cookie or jam are being exchanged. And this year, we plan to do a “little extra,” give gifts to the charities that matter most to us in honor of those who are no longer with us.

My gift to Second Harvest will provide holiday meals for families in need and honor my mother, a beautiful soul, who never wanted anything more for Christmas than to be surrounded by her family.

Each of my brothers will receive a sweet card with a note letting them know that a gift has been made in their honor in remembrance of our mother who gave us the best gift of all.

If, like me, you strive to keep the holidays simple and meaningful, I invite you to consider “gifting” those who are special in your life with Second Harvest Food Bank’s Gift Outside the Box Holiday Cards.

For a donation of just $10 per card, dedicated volunteers will personalize, hand address and mail a card to everyone on your list and each card will help to provide 70 holiday meals. You can check out the designs below and place your order at

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*Sponsored by Second Harvest