I know that this will not be a pleasant week for everyone. We put a lot of emphasis on family and friends and food and fellowship, but everyone is not looking forward to spending time with loved ones…some because their loved ones are not so much loved as tolerated, and some because their loved ones are no longer here. Mom has been gone for twelve years, yet Thanksgiving is still a comforting reminder of all the good times spent with her and painful reminder that those times are gone forever.
This week will find many people out traveling, shopping, and seeking entertainment. There will be long lines, short tempers, and exhausted bodies everywhere. Some folks are off work, but many will work more hours this week than they really need or desire. My own husband will be at work bright and early Friday morning for the “big sale”.
This week is a financial burden for people who can barely afford to feed their families each week and now feel obligated to have some sort of celebration. Many will eat at shelters or churches or other public gatherings. Others will be the recipients of donations from community organizations.
Many people are isolated and alone. Some will make the effort to gather with others on Thursday. Some will go unnoticed by their neighbors and even some of their friends. We tend to assume that people have plans, but sometimes we need to actually ask. No one needs to eat alone on Thanksgiving unless that is truly their desire.
I think the best plan for all of us this week is to get plenty of sleep, be tolerant of each other, be kind, be understanding, be patient….and be thankful.