It's time to start asking everyone, What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Isn't that what we usually work into our conversations this month?
I started thinking about why I ask that question. Is it because I expect that everyone I meet has exciting plans full of loving family get-togethers and delicious traditional meals, and I'm anxious to hear their stories?
Or, is it because I want to make sure that no one is going to spend the holiday alone and lonely?
I've been there. I've spent Thanksgiving days alone or as a couple eating out at a regular restaurant serving ho-hum turkey and cranberry sauce.
No matter how I spin it, eating alone on Thanksgiving Day screams out to me that I need more family and friends around me.
I bemoan the fact that I should have spent the entire year cultivating friendships and family who might make an extra effort to spend time together. If family is too far away, I could have found friends to be my chosen family.
Too late now? No.
There are simply too many people around me who may be alone on Thanksgiving Day. This year, I choose them. If anyone answers my November question with something like, Nothing different
, I'm going to invite them to spend Thanksgiving Day with me.
It'll be another of life's adventures.
I don't know what'll happen. Maybe they'll say no, maybe yes. But, what's the worst that can happen? I'll spend a few hours and probably end up with a new friend. I'm not offering great food or a big beautiful house or a formal meal. It'll probably be potluck and eat off a paper plate on your lap. But none of us will be alone.
When I read that, in our society, loneliness is killing us
, I realized that I could do my small part in changing that.
It's not a matter of giving someone a Thanksgiving turkey. It's a gesture of companionship.