I could not believe it when I went to the store and saw Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise on the shelves at the same time. Talk about rushing the holidays and challenging the pocketbook.

And the cost of putting on a feast like those we all remember from childhood holiday meals is always expensive. The family meals are a cherished memory of mine. We would have a guessing game to choose who got the other turkey leg (Dad always had one). Mom’s homemade cloverleaf buns were rising on the radiators around the house. Auntie Helen was always making pies and bars to go with the fruits and nuts for after dinner.

But if you are living from paycheck to paycheck and barely making ends meet, these additional meals become impossible to create and an added stressor. Family gathering for holidays is such an important ritual to celebrate their love and connection and build positive memories. Families include those we are related to and friends who are related in our hearts.

Jodi has already ordered the turkeys and extra fixings for the Thanksgiving boxes. Each box will provide mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, stuffing, veggies and pie. Christmas box contents are undecided until we see what specials are available. Each box will cost the food shelf around $30 per family to provide. We need your help to fill these boxes. Your donation with “Holiday” noted in the memo section will be directed to a special fund for this purpose.

Minnesota Nice is an acronym that describes our community to a T. The food shelf exists because you care about the hungry in our area. Send holiday checks to PO Box 1, Pine River, MN 56474. Call 218-587-4292 if you have questions. Happy holidays to you and your families.