This isn't a traditional post, but it's one that I'm super excited about. If you're like me, and maybe you're not, but if you are, there's a good chance that you're either still counting down the days till you're out of the office, indulging in some good 'ole holiday vacay. That or you've already checked out and are somewhere fabulous, and tropical, sippin' on something delish or somewhere super cold but surrounded by all the people you love. Either way, you're probably knee deep in holiday splendor or about to be deep in it. Unless of course you're working through the holidays, in which case, thank you. Thank you for making the holidays brighter for each and every one of us. To the firefighters out there, responding to calls all Christmas eve and day, thank YOU for that. To the postal workers who are smiling through all the holiday bah humbugs and bs to help get our packages out to our loved ones, thank YOU. To anyone who's working through the holiday, thank YOU, thank YOU, and thank YOU. 

This past Thanksgiving, I was utterly moved and inspired by my friend, Ashlae, (you might know her as Oh, Ladycakes) and what she did that day. As she was enjoying her morning cup of coffee, she heard a bunch of fire engines leaving the station down the street from her place. And she thought about how crappy it'd be to be working on Thanksgiving. So, she cut all her Thanksgiving pies into slices and brought them to her neighborhood firefighters. She also urged people around her to #pieitforward. Today, thanks to Ashlae, I'm sharing my #pieitforward story and if you look around the interwebs, you might find other stories as well. 

It's super easy to get caught up in our own holiday madness and lose track of the real meaning of the holiday season, what really matters, and the spirit of gift giving. I love gift giving as much as the next person, but nowadays it seems like a rarity to give a gift without the unspoken rule of reciprocity coming into play. Which is why, waking up at the crack of dawn to bake a bunch of pies, ok, only three, for the guys who are putting their lives on the line and working 365, felt good. No, it felt great. This past Saturday, I woke up with one main goal, which was to make some kick *ss pies and share them with the firefighters down the street. I hear the sound of their sirens on a daily basis and honestly, oftentimes don't give them the proper respect they deserve. Vienna, my dog, howls whenever she hears sirens blow by and I can't help but lose my shit (in a good way) every time she does this. I mean it's like she feels such a strong need to support these sounds that she stands frozen (even if we're doing important things, like crossing the street) and I can't help but melt--it puts a smile on my face every time. So, it felt very appropriate to give the men behind those sirens the respect they deserve and brighten their day the same way they brighten mine. 

Pie. Such a short and simple word but man does it mean a lot. When you think about it, pies take time, so when you give someone a homemade pie, it's kinda like giving them a piece of yourself (cheesy, maybe but it feels so true). This past Saturday after I made a few pies, Moses and I dropped by the fire house, on our way to his company Christmas party and gosh, my night was made. As we stood outside the station, in the rain, with our pie boxes, I had a moment of panic and thought what am I doing just showing up with a bunch of pies. That panic dissipated immediately and was replaced with pure happiness the minute after the door was opened and I blurted out the words, "Hi. Happy Holidays. I hope it's ok, but I baked you a few pies and was hoping to drop them off..."

The guys ushered us in immediately, guiding us toward the kitchen, where a big old pot of what I presume to be chili, was simmering. Of course, as soon as we got in, the station got a call, and the guys were sliding down the pole (yes, that really happened) and getting ready to respond. In that brief moment, we were thanked profusely, they asked if I'm a baker ("uhh, no, I have a little site and I write about food and stuff!?!"), invited to swing by and hang Christmas Eve, and I saw so many happy faces, I nearly cried. As we headed out the door, I watched as one of the guys yelled to his captain, "Hey Capt, you're gonna wanna see these pies" and he (as well as most of the guys we saw/met) had the hugest grin on his face and my whole month was made in that moment. It really doesn't take much to say thank you, and chances are, you'll get all you give, and tenfold. I strongly recommend you #pieitforward this holiday season. It just feels so darn good! 

Ps - If you're wondering what I made, I made Four and Twenty Blackbird's Salted Caramel Apple Pie, a Banoffee (Banana Toffee) Pie, and a Chocolate Cream Pie

Pss - Huge thanks to PieBox™ for providing this awesome PieBox, making it 100% easier to transport my pies and to, of course, #pieitforward.

Alana Kysar#pieitforward