The most popular question you will ask or be asked in the coming week is, What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Whether it's coming from a place of office small talk or genuine interest, this will be major topic of conversation, or in some cases, dread and avoidance.
That's right, some of your friends, acquaintances and colleagues don't want to ask or be asked. So if you do ask, just be prepared for the real answer, and don't shame anyone for their plans or lack thereof.
Not everyone does traditional things for the holidays anymore. Whether it's because of time constraints, travel budget, smaller families, or family dramas, some people opt for alternative plans. It's a growing trend. My family in particular has done all kinds of things for the Thanksgiving holiday, ranging from the traditional to the non-traditional. This year we're opting for traditional plans with extended family, but we understand the point of view of those who are not.
If you want to be generous and in the true spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, be open minded and accepting of those who answer your question with their plans to stay in bed, binge watch Netflix, eat sandwiches, order Chinese, travel overseas, or any combination. The last thing anyone needs, who is opting out of traditional plans, is to be shamed and deal with Judgy McJudgersons, as a wise and funny friend posted on Facebook a few days ago. Just be cool and open minded about it. Why not? It doesn't affect you or alter the course of human history in any way. If you judge, it says more about you and your issues than it does about the person in question. So just wish this person a fun and relaxing weekend with an open heart and move on.
Furthermore, if you talk to people who don't have plans, and you want to invite them to your traditional gathering, that's a wonderful and generous sentiment in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Just make sure your invite is coming from a sincere place, and that you truly want this person's company, and you will enjoy having them at your table. They will know otherwise. If it's a pity invite in which you feel this person, "needs a place to go," they don't. Just skip it. They would rather do anything else than endure being treated like a lost puppy. So make sure than you really want them at your gathering, and that they really know it.
Bottom line - the best gift you can give during the holidays is the gift of acceptance and open mindedness. It will go a long way, and trust me, people will remember.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who have inspired me and continue to do so on a daily basis, whatever your plans may be. You know who you are. Thank you!
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