Let Them Eat Cake (Especially at Christmas)

As happens in many other towns and cities, there’s a Christmas food drive held in my town every year. Here, it’s called the Guignolee, and volunteers go door-to-door on the first Sunday of December to collect food and money for the local food bank. We’ve always given something, of course. Usually money, because I’m notorious for not keeping track of time and then not having anything else ready when the drive comes to the door. When I have managed to have my act together, however, I’ve given what I considered to be practical items…things such as pasta, rice, and canned goods that could be stretched as far as possible to create substantial and reasonably nutritious meals.

This Christmas, however, I’m changing that. Why? Because of a blog post a Facebook friend posted a link to. I’ll wait while you go read it…

Oh, good. You’re back. And I suspect you’re as appalled as I am at the sheer lack of respect Anne (and too many others like her) has had to endure. But there was something else in Anne’s story that struck a chord in me, as well…something that has changed me.

I consider myself to be a fairly aware person, and I go out of my way to practice random acts of kindness in my everyday life, but I’ll be honest here…this article was a real eye-opener for me. Not just because it both shocked and saddened me, but because it made me realize how unintentionally judgemental I had become. From my place of privilege (we have a steady income and we’ve never wanted for either food or shelter), I’d never stopped to think about what it might be like for those who have to rely on food banks. In my self-assured righteousness, I was certain I was doing the Right Thing by making sure I gave all those nutritious, budget-stretching items. But in retrospect, it seems to me that I’ve also been denying life’s little luxuries to those less fortunate than me. And that’s not right. It’s not right at all.

While I was growing up, my family never had to rely on food banks (I’m actually not sure they existed where I grew up), but I clearly remember many meals such as wieners and boiled cabbage or fried potatoes and Spam (not the email kind 😉 ) when times were lean. I also remember how special Christmas was, with its once-a-year treats: nuts in their shells, colourful hard candies, mince tarts, shortbread cookies, and other sugary delights. When it came to food, Christmas was like…well, Christmas around our house. The way it should be.

And that’s why our contribution to this year’s Guignolee looks like this:


I can’t give treats to all the families who need them this season, but I can make sure that at least some of them will have something a little bit special…this year and every year to come. I hope they enjoy every last bite…with the full knowledge that they deserve cake as much as anyone else ever will.





Subscribe to my blog


3 responses to “Let Them Eat Cake (Especially at Christmas)”

  1. valerieraemillard Avatar

    Thanks for sharing Linda ….an eye opener for sure ?

  2. Janet irwin Avatar
    Janet irwin

    I’ve always believed that Food banks really check due dates on items donated and I hope that’s the case. I’m chagrined to think that people who use the Food Banks would ever be made to feel bad or ‘less’. “There by the Grace of God” I’ve always thought. When doing up Food Bank donations I always try to replicate meals that have been special to me during the holidays….dessert included for sure! 🙂

    1. Linda Avatar

      That’s a wonderful way to go about it, Janet! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *