Consider opening your home over the holiday season to someone that is alone. It is not always obvious that someone does not have a place to go. Most people don’t advertise it and if asked if they have an invitation they may even lie and say “yes” for fear of being judged.
There are many circumstances where people are alone – living in a city with no family nearby, being a loner, moving to a new area and knowing very few people, a recent loss of a loved-one, relations with family is strained or perhaps someone is down on their luck with no money to put food on their table.
Whatever the reason, offering someone an invitation to your home this Thanksgiving will bring joy and a feeling of belonging to a family.
I have been fortunate to be invited to homes during Thanksgiving. Every family that has opened up their home has made me feel welcomed and apart of their family traditions. I like to give to the family dinner preparations and bring a dish to add to the over abundance of food.
It is more challenging at Christmas time when families are less likely to include non-family members in their holiday celebrations. The Christmas holiday tends to be a more intimate. Perhaps presents or gift giving creates a barrier. Depending on when the gifts are opened (in our family it was always first thing in the morning) families may be reluctant to include non-family members.
Personally, when included, I never expect the holiday invitation to imply that a gift is expected, the family has already given me the gift of inclusion.
So, if you want to include someone this holiday season, instead of asking him or her if they have a place to go, ask them to come to your home. If they have another invitation, they will let you know, if not, they will feel special that you want to open up the joy your family shares with them.
Here’s the bonus – your family will experience the benefits of giving and sharing with others during the holiday season.