6. Recognizing the importance of community. Beyond the people around the Thanksgiving dinner table, there are larger communities of neighbors, countrymen, and humans that we belong to. Whatever gifts you are thankful for — your wealth, your personal abilities, etc. — Thanksgiving is a good time to think about how to share them with the larger community. At a time when the gap between the haves and the have-nots is becoming steadily wider, it’s important for the haves to think about digging a little deeper to reduce that gap.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s not like I’m obsessed with finance on Thanksgiving. The most important thing about the holiday is having a peaceful day with family, with the smell of turkey and stuffing in the air and the sound of football games in the background (though have you noticed, those Thanksgiving games are rarely any good — it’s usually as if one of the teams has had its big Thanksgiving meal right before game time). Anyway, home and family are the main things I value about Thanksgiving. It’s just that I will never get so complacent that I’ll forget to be thankful for having had the means to enjoy those things.

Originally published on FiveCentNickle.com. Used with permission.

Richard Barrington is a personal finance expert for MoneyRates.com. He has earned the CFA designation and is a 20-year veteran of the financial industry.

FiveCentNickle.com provides content on debt reduction, education, credit cards, mortgages, financial planning, family life, frugality, taxes, travel, and many other money-related issues.

Publication date: November 22, 2013