If you are hosting a holiday meal for friends and family, could you make room for one more?
While you are busy with menu planning and the details of your table setting, consider adding one more person to the guest list.
Who do you know that does not have an obvious family to join for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or whichever holiday you celebrate during this season?
Midlife holidays can be lonely
Included in my Thanksgiving gathering of 16 are couples whose children live far away, a childless couple whose parents have all passed, two single men, even two young ladies who must work on Black Friday and don’t have time to make the trip home to their families.
They are helping my family to enjoy a full and festive house as the turkey roasts and we mash the potatoes. We are a small family this year, only our daughter and the two of us. So in addition to my sister’s family, we’ve invited several friends and acquaintances who we suspected may not have other plans.
I call it a collaborative Thanksgiving, asking guests to bring a dish that reminds them of their family’s holiday meals. Everyone contributes, cooks, and (hopefully) helps clean up after. I ask everyone to bring Tupperware and after the meal, they are welcome to package up a meal of leftovers to take home. Isn’t that one of the best meals? The leftovers!
Who could you invite?
Start with friends who have had significant changes this year:
- children moved away
- parents have passed or moved away
- new residents of your community
- new co-workers who moved to your town
- friends who have divorced
- new widows or widowers
Once you begin to think of your “just one more” guest possibilities, you may be surprised by how many there actually are. Even if you reach out with an invitation, only to find that they have other plans, you will bring them such happiness knowing they were welcome and wanted.
Friends are the family we choose.