Anonymous Distributor

I remember the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners that Mom would fix for our family of four, plus six to eight relatives that lived nearby. They really weren’t “dinners” so much as they were “feasts,” in the Roman meaning of the word. An immense amount of delicious food, including occasionally dreaded Brussels sprouts or creamed pearl onions, which my brother and I always said we didn’t like, but gobbled up along with everything else, because all the food tasted so good.

What made up a typical holiday “feast?” For starters, it was a roasted turkey pulled out of the oven about an hour before dinner, and carved shortly thereafter. There was always a wonderful sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and turkey giblet gravy; luscious cranberry salad containing nuts and real cranberries; regular cranberry sauce; stuffed celery; southern-style green beans; the aforementioned creamed pearl onions; an orange Jell-O salad with mandarin oranges; LeSeur baby green peas; Honey Baked Ham slices; warm rolls right out of the oven; and a platter of different types of pickles and olives. Once a serving plate or bowl was placed on the table, many believed that every spoonful taken out was magically replaced by an additional spoonful in the bottom of the bowl or plate, making it virtually impossible to empty! I never believed that, but we did wonder sometimes. Once you ate all you could, there was never room for dessert, so dessert was planned for several hours later (not that there would be any more room then either).

Next, it was time for someone to be the first to get up from the table. Moving is a very difficult thing to do after a big meal. It seems like a nice concept, but it takes a huge effort to accomplish. I’d look across the table at one of my uncles and wish I could say, “Uncle Bill, drag me over to the big brown sofa and stretch me out on it so I can get a nap.” I came close to saying that more than once, but ultimately I knew Uncle Bill wanted that spot on the brown sofa as much as I did. And the race was on!

Dessert deserves its own paragraph. If you peeked at all the homemade desserts that typically appeared before each holiday dinner, including a fresh coconut cake, a chocolate cake, an apple pie, a mincemeat pie, a sweet potato pie, a southern-style pecan pie, and vanilla ice cream, you would become so overwhelmed that you would think you were going to pass out. We were always asked two questions: What do you want for dessert, or do you want a little bit of everything? Can you imagine the size of that plate with a little bit of everything on it? Someone would have to wash the turkey platter first and use it for “a little bit of everything!” Memories of wonderful food, visiting relatives, and just being with family nourish us year-round.

During this holiday season, don’t forget to share your bountiful blessings and food with those less fortunate or suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. They deserve our assistance and our prayers.


Good leaders in business have a way of deeply connecting with their employees and co-workers. One way they do this is by really listening to the people who work for them. They pay attention to what people are telling them, and take it seriously. They are quick to implement ideas, and they are quick to give credit to the person who had the idea. Likewise, they are willing to accept blame and criticism when mistakes are made. And they never abandon their employees.


Walter Bemis, in his book On Becoming a Leader, details what he believes to be the differences between leaders and managers. Some are worth mentioning. “A manager accepts the status quo; a leader challenges it. A manager relies on control; a leader inspires trust. A manager has a short-range view; a leader has a long-range perspective. A manager maintains; a leader develops. A manager administers; a leader innovates. A manager focuses on systems and structure; a leader focuses on people. A manager asks how and when; a leader asks what and why. And a manager has his eye on the bottom line; a leader has his eye on the horizon.” Read through the list one more time, and think about which attributes might improve your leadership abilities.


Harvey Mackay’s recent blog about the effect of good leadership on a business had a terrific quote by a college professor about how one goes about spotting a leader. The professor said, “I have come to the conclusion that the only way one can determine a leader is to look at the person and…see if anybody is following.”


Happy holidays. Be thankful. Share. Pray. And most of all, smile, so someone else will too.


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