This time of year, though, we are more painfully aware of those who go to bed each night with empty bellies.
No turkey, no mashed potatoes and gravy. No pumpkin pie.
Next week, when we gather with family and friends to give thanks for our blessings, we should include the many organizations and hundreds of volunteers who reach out to those in need, ensuring them a traditional holiday feast.
For many, it will be the only hot meal of the week.
In the San Bernardino area, thousands of the county's poorest residents will enjoy meals served by angels in aprons.
Volunteers will be organizing, cooking, serving free Thanksgiving dinner this year throughout the area.
In Muscoy this time of year, it's hard to track down Sister Mary McKinney.
She's the blur you see dash through the kitchen with bags of veggies and other groceries.
She's been compared to the animated Energizer Bunny - 100 pounds of boundless energy.
The woman never stops giving.
On Wednesday, Mary McKinney's annual Thanksgiving feast for those in need will be served from noon to 4 p.m. Now in its 28th year, the dinner is presented by St. Stephen's Church and Samaritan Social Services.
The church is at 2219 W. Third Ave., San Bernardino.
The homemade Thanksgiving meal will include a clothing giveaway, music, arts, crafts and other activities.
Why has dedicated her life to helping others?
"I just want to give back what I have received," she said. "Early in my life, I was homeless and had nowhere to go. A family in Michigan took me in - complete strangers - they provided for my baby and me until I got an apartment and a job. The thought to pay it back has always been in me."
Another Mary - Mary's Table at Mary's Mercy Center also will serve Thanksgiving dinner - hundreds of them - from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the center, 641 Roberds Ave., San Bernardino.
Mary's Table director Marsha Olguin, whose family has a long tradition of volunteering, works with the homeless, the aged, families in need - giving hope, she said, to those without hope.
The Salvation Army Corps will once again provide Thanksgiving dinner to help the needy families of the Inland Empire.
The San Bernardino corps will serve dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at its headquarters building, 746 W. Fifth St.
The Redlands corps will serve dinner from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday.
The Ontario corps will serve from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.
The Riverside corps will serve from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The Moreno Valley corps serves dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
For more information about Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinners, call 800-725-2769.
Have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving.