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Secrets of getting into the holiday spirit this year: Give back to others

Sen. James Lankford notes that 'some people aren't able to join their family' or afford what they need

Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, has shared a message exclusively with Fox News Digital about giving back to others ahead of the Thanksgiving season.

"There's no better way to get into the holiday spirit than giving back," he said in comments to Fox News Digital this week, ahead of the holiday.

"While it's easy to dwell on what divides us," he added, there "are some ways to serve friends and neighbors as we enter the holiday season."

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This is a tough period of time for many Americans, who may be dealing with higher food and gas costs, battling health challenges, living on fixed incomes — and/or facing a lack of affordable and nutritious food.

Sen. Lankford's message highlights the ways in which Americans can help other Americans.

‘Bless people who are alone’

Among his points: Host others in your own home.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma shakes the hand of an American veteran. There are many ways Americans can help each other during this Thanksgiving and holiday season. 

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma shakes the hand of an American veteran. There are many ways Americans can help each other during this Thanksgiving and holiday season.  (Lankford Press Office)

"Celebrating with family is a blessing, but some people aren't able to join their family this year," the senator says in his Thanksgiving message.

He suggests that people "offer an extra plate at your table as a way to bless people who are alone."

‘Prepare their pantry’

Another idea: Think about donating to a local food pantry or food bank in order to help those who don't have enough to eat.

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This may include those who are working two jobs — yet still don't have the ability to fully provide for their households. 

Sen. Lankford shared these holiday tips and ideas for giving and for thoughtfulness toward fellow Americans. 

Sen. Lankford shared these holiday tips and ideas for giving and for thoughtfulness toward fellow Americans.  (Lankford Press Office)

"Thanksgiving," says the senator, "is a great time to donate nonperishable items to a local food bank."

There are other ways as well …

‘Serve by shopping’

It's not easy for those who can't drive, or who don't have other means of traveling, to get out to the store to buy what they need.

Sure, they can order deliveries to their homes — but they may not be able to afford all that they need.

"Look for service opportunities in your community, such as serving a Thanksgiving meal, or buying gifts for those in need."

"Look for service opportunities in your community, such as serving a Thanksgiving meal, or buying gifts for those in need." (iStock)

So, "ask your neighbors if you can serve them by making an extra stop at the store," says the senator. 

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For additional ideas on how to help others who may benefit from a thoughtful and helping hand, Sen. Lankford also suggests giving of your time. 

Families can get the kids involved, too.

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He also advises checking with your church or other house of worship to see how else you may be able to help those in your community.