A friend of mine is working out of state and can’t make it home for Thanksgiving.
My family and friends all know this is my favorite holiday, hands down. I think our highest guest count was 30, and that included some out-of-town guests that would’ve been alone. This year in our smaller home we’ll have 15-20. It’ll be messy. It’ll be crowded. It’ll be loud! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The thought of someone being alone makes me crazy! Occasionally I would ask, Have you decided what you’re doing on Thanksgiving? Finally, a few days ago, she texted me that she made plans. I was so happy, and I called her. So what are your plans? She said she had asked a friend and colleague what his plans were, and he said this:
I’m going to my family’s. You’re welcome to come if you want to.
Her next words to me made me cringe a bit. She told me she felt like she had invited herself but that at least she had a place to go.
OK, y’all know I’m a language maniac! Words matter. I’m sure he didn’t think a thing about the way he said it, and it was very nice of him to offer. But imagine how my friend would have felt if he had said any of the following:
I’m going to my family’s, can you join us?
I’m going to my family’s and we’d love for you to come if you don’t already have plans.
I’m going to my family’s and they love guests, can you come? The more the merrier!
I know I’m asking a lot sometimes when it comes to how we speak. We might not think too much about everyday conversations. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If I can say something that brightens someone’s day, why wouldn’t I?
You might be thinking, Well you just can’t invite someone to Thanksgiving dinner without asking the hosts first! I’m about to lay down some truth here 😁: If we can’t invite someone who would otherwise be alone without asking the host, then Thanksgiving isn’t what we say it is – a time for counting our blessings. (Of course, THEN tell the host and bring extra food for them if you need to!)
Take time over the next week to think of those who might be alone. Invite them. If that’s not possible, help to find them someplace to go or send something. We often think of these at Christmas, so let’s step it up for Thanksgiving. FYI, talking to myself too!
Love & Hugs