Thursday, November 13, 2014

Practicing hospitality

I'm sure you don't need me to remind you that the holidays are quickly approaching. We all get busier and busier planning for various family events and dinners. It is easy to forget that no everyone has a place to go or people to celebrate with. Last year, when I wrote the post, He Sets the Lonely in Families, it had a huge response. (My stats made me very happy for those few days.) If you haven't read it, go and click on it now and read it. It will save me from repeating myself.

We are now three weeks away from Thanksgiving. One of the most useful comments on that post was from the commentor who made the point, that while asking others to join a family for the holidays is great, to do it sooner rather than later is even better. Instead of the build-up of that person wondering what they are going to do... is anyone going to invite them... of making plans to make the holiday less dreadful, ask that person NOW! Then they know and can enjoy the anticipation of having a place to go.

Trust me when I say there is always room for one more. You can always borrow a chair. You can always squeeze a bit. You can always peel two more potatoes. Remember hospitality is about how you make the person feel. You can make someone welcome in your home no matter how big or small it is. You can make someone welcome in your home no matter how it is decorated (or not decorated). It is about attitude and not environment.

So look around. Who can you invite to your table? Are there older adults you know (even tangentially) whose children might not be around? Are there single parents who may not have their children for this holiday? Are there singles who may not have family near? A college student who can't make it home? A couple whose children may not be able to make it home? Don't assume someone you know has somewhere to go. If you don't know, ask, "So, what are your plans for Thanksgiving?" If they don't have plans, invite them!

So pick up your phone and get to inviting. It's what I'm going to be doing today.

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