Traditionally, Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the holiday season. My entire life, this season has been one of my favorite times of year. There was nothing like a road trip to visit family or welcoming family to our home. It was also a treat to bake Christmas cookies and mini- cakes with my mother, Eva. After baking we found or made creative containers for the treats, shipped them to relatives and delivered them to local friends.
Even after my parents death and moving away from family, I was able to find a sense of family regardless of my residence. One of my favorite “village” experiences was developing a nightly Kwanzaa celebration with an amazing group of individuals while living in Los Angeles and carrying that tradition to Oakland.
Once arriving in San Antonio and opening Eva’s Escape bed and breakfast we started a new tradition of opening our doors to anyone for Thanksgiving Dinner. We also prepared dinner for our guests so they were not tasked with having to find a place to eat. You know how “we” do. We cannot just cook a little something for Thanksgiving! The only requirement for locals was to bring something to share. It could even be a bag of chips. Some years we had people seated everywhere.
To some, thoughts of the holidays are not so fond. As a matter of fact they are dreadful. healthline.com reports people with small social circles or the lack of socialization opportunities during the holidays create the leading causes to increased cases of depression. Additionally, people still grieving the loss of a loved one find it more difficult to cope during the holiday season.
Villagers, you can identify people that are dealing with loneliness, isolation and depression. It is our job to get them back into the village. Providing holiday food baskets is great. Toys for our children’s Christmas experience is great too. But, the most precious thing we can give this season is ourselves. It is our calling to be “our brother’s keeper”.
THIS EDITION’S CHALLENGE
Identify one person you will spend quality time with this Thanksgiving season.
You can invite them to dinner, take them a dinner plate and have dinner with them in their space.
Take them to a matinee. “Green Book” opens tomorrow. That movie will invoke conversation and their movie ticket will be less than $10.
Encourage your village to spend time with one person too. If each person connected with one other person this season, our village would be healthier.
Share your “connection” ideas on our Facebook page and have a blessed and thoughtful Thanksgiving!