If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this week, can I please ask you a favor?
Consider adding another chair or two to the table.
Extend an invitation to someone who is single or the married couple down the street or the family living far from their extended family. Think about your neighbor or your co-worker. Think about the people who are estranged from their families or who no longer have any family. Remember the orphan and the widow.
If you're not sure if someone has plans, ask them what they're doing and then invite them to stop by your house.
Since I moved out of state 6+ years ago, I've only made it back home for Thanksgiving once. Every year friends (single and married alike) have asked me to join their gathering and it has meant the world. Last year I went to Friendsgiving and it was possibly the best Thanksgiving I've ever been to. (Sorry, family.)
It is neat to see other people's holiday traditions and staples and I always bring something to share. I rarely notice the state of someone's home because I'm too busy having fun, catching up with friends and getting to know their friends, spouses, and/or extended family. I've been to every kind of holiday gathering, whether 4th of July or Thanksgiving, and all that ever matters is someone wanted me to be there.
Maybe you'll invite them and they'll say no. Not everyone wants to have holiday plans but I suspect most people do.
So please. Think about someone who might need to feel like they belong somewhere and invite them into your home. You won't regret it.
This was originally published on my Facebook page and has been lightly edited for clarity.