Throw a Thanksgiving Auction by Martha Wild King, M.Ed.–October 2019

Thanksgiving is a wonderful North American celebration.   Our Canadian friends celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October, while the US celebrates it on the fourth Thursday of November.   In both countries, however, it  is a time to give thanks for all God has done, and a great time to celebrate with family and friends. And a fun addition to this holiday is to host A WILD THANKSGIVING AUCTION.

                                           A  Flash Back in Time

Now, when my husband, Michael, and I lived in Belgium  in the 1990’s,  we hosted an American Thanksgiving  for folks from Italy, Germany, Belgium,  England, and the US.   It was an eyeopening event for both of us about not only how much food we Americans would pile on our plates, but also about watching those new global friends enjoy our sixty-year-old  family tradition of  A  WILD THANKSGIVING AUCTION.  Here is how.

                                          An Auction History

As with most things  dear to us, ‘the auction’ was begun by my ancestors–my maternal grandmother Mabel.  Mabel and her husband Henry lost everything in The Great Depression, including their son.  Yet Mabel’s constant saying was, “It could be worse.”  She lived to be 101.  Thus, with that upbeat attitude, every holiday was a celebration, and Thanksgiving was no different.  But at the end of the meal, she would uncover the coffee table upon which would be many treasures: A clear plastic box with a silver dollar in it; some small toiletries which she picked up from her stay at a hotel; or some other purchased treasure from the Five and Dime Store that she knew one of us four WILD children would want.


                                              How to Do an Auction

Thus when my offspring began to grow, after the Thanksgiving meal, we’d gather in the living room, and I’d unveil the treasures I’d found from  The Dollar Store or Good Will.  Everyone would be given 30 pennies in a paper cup and I’d start the bidding.  The only rules for A Wild Thanksgiving Auction were and still are:

#1.  Everyone except the auctioneer should bid–adults and children–because you can’t keep the pennies.

#2.  No sharing of pennies (Adults cannot hand children monies).

#3.  After one wins the item, then the correct amount of pennies must  be put into the basket passed to you. (That basket pass accomplishes two things: The children learn to count out their pennies, and it employs the ‘honor system.’ )

                                                 Why Is It Fun?

So if you’d like to do something NON-ELECTRICALLY different this year after that Thanksgiving feast or for any celebration (this activity was great for kids birthdays),  try throwing A WILD THANKSGIVING AUCTION. Watching those Europeans bid for the first time was so delightful because the adults got into it as much as the  children did.   Your family will thank you for this old, new, enjoyable tradition  which doesn’t cost hardly anything to pull it off.  Just a little Thanksgiving forethought.

2 Maccabees 10:38 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)   38 When they had accomplished these things, with hymns and thanksgivings they blessed the Lord who shows great kindness to Israel and gives them the victory.  





“How to Feel Instantly Richer” by Martha Wild King M.Ed.–June 2019

We all get the buy-ite-us bug: Everyone does. What we do with this malady, however, either shapes or breaks us. For many, the  bug causes great internal and financial distress; but for those who have conquered this disease, feeling rich instantly is EASY to do!!!

What does it mean, however,  to feel rich instantly?  Does it imply funds falling  from the ceiling?  Forgotten funds.  Alas, if it did, I could  locate the $1800 in cash hidden so well in this house that no one could ever find it– myself, now included.   That’s not feeling rich instantly.  That’s feeling, “Goodness, Lord, what are you up to now?”

Or does it mean that my escaped hamster who absconded my gold necklace and vanished with it into my apartment walls suddenly returns?

Well, maybe.

But more than that, likely feeling rich instantly is what confidence is all about, and that’s  the purpose of this article.

Rearrange and Re-Imagine Your Stuff


As a creature of habit, you could probably tell me right now exactly where your couch is. If you can’t, you’ll end up sitting on your floor. The challenge comes when you walk into a department store or look on-line and see new, beautiful furniture, clothes or habits, and want them. Not good. A better habit, however, is to rearrange and re-imagine differently the possessions you currently possess.

I’m really serious on this! Move that chair, and remove that big bowl. Shift that wooden duck to another shelf. Rearrange your picture collection. Transfer those pillows from couch to chair. Use that scarf or tie with a different shirt or jacket.  No need to purchase when relocation and re-imagining will give you a whole new feel.

Rearranging I figure you can figure out, but here is an example of re-imagining, just in case you need one Grandmother Martha is sitting at the fancy dinner table with Son #2 and his two-darling-daughters (her granddaughters) ages 5 and 2.  The 2-year-old bumps into Grandma’s  40-year-old plate collection hanging on the wall.  They simultaneously  crash on the floor.  Grandmother takes another sip of wine and ignores the whole event lest she traumatize the tiny child over the broken dishes.  And now, that  all have left, the dishes have been removed and given to Good Will and the plate stand presently is a  monthly changing spot for various collections contained throughout the home like: cows, rabbits, turtles, birds, rocks, and Big Foot replicas–SLOCK as my husband and #2 son call them.  “Magic,” as I commonly refer to them.   Anyway, plate stand now turned into museum display case= re-imagining.

Practice Thankfulness

As frugal Catholics, thankfulness is a bomb in our spiritual arsenal. In the Catholic EUCHARISTIC PRAYER II used in Mass, the Priest says, “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.” And we respond, “It is right and just.” Then the Priest adds, “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Father most holy, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, your Word through whom you made all things, whom you sent as our Savior and Redeemer, incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin. ” Just as the above thirty-five italicized words are like a three-braided cord forming God’s plan of salvation, for which it is our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, giving thanks is just plain FUN!!!

Thankfulness draws me away from my cares and propels me into mentally praying a prayer of care for others. Here is an example: My son recently went through a divorce.  It was a year long process.   Well,  when the enemy was pelting his weapons towards me during those months, THANKFULNESS was a Godsend. When I’d get assailed by fear, regret, defeat, depression, doubt, lies and lack of faith, I’d just start being thankful for everything from my legs that work, my lack of back pain, my wonderful service dog Bandit, my arms that can still hold my grandchildren. Gracious, the list goes on.

Well, thankfully thankfulness won.

Practicing thankfulness also gives you a sense of power. I can eat my two slices of bread sandwiched around some good meat and a lovely piece of cheese; and before I take my first bite, I can ask God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth and all the Universe, and my Heavenly Father–I can ask HIM to Bless, Guide, Prosper and Protect each person and their family who gave me my gluten-free sandwich, and I know HE is going to do it because HE told me so!!! Praying your own thankful prayer will leave you feeling powerfully rich.

Or another way to restate thankfulness is a saying my mother, a child of The Great Depression, used to repeat. “I wept because I had no shoes until I met the man who had no feet.”

Take a Deep Breath

When I was raising five children  and homeschooling them too for 22 years, by the end of the day, all I could do was stare at the  wall and breathe. My husband’s  military service required many days absence from home  so I forged ahead as a single parent. It was because of that stress that I learned several deep breaths were the best medicine.

Years later I began to see how when I needed a change of head-set (such as feeling instantly richer), just taking several very deep breaths  allowed me to taste the air. So no matter where I am, on the back porch, the top of a mountain, or even breathing the taste of fresh grass or sea air, taking a deep breath is one of life’s best free“feel rich instantly” medicines.

So to feel rich instantly. in this moment:

  1.  step outside,
  2. take a VERY deep breath,
  3. then walk back in on legs that hopefully work,
  4. and sit in your favorite re-arranged and re-imagined chair.
  5. BLESSINGS, Martha