Reach out to those who are alone this time of year
There is something about this time of year that kindles kindness, generosity, and a general awareness of the needs of others. It’s a time of inspiring hope, belief, joy, and peace.
Growing up, my mother exemplified hospitality. We always had extra seats at our family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas table, especially for those who would otherwise spend it alone. She wanted to teach us kids to extend our “family bonds” beyond that of just DNA. Whether it was a friend of a friend, school friends, people from church, co-workers, neighbors, or extended family, our table and our celebration was open for others to join.
I was in a conversation recently that made me suddenly aware of how lacking I had been in living out this example of hospitality as I’ve now grown to have a family and home of my own. I had become unaware of a certain group of people I rub shoulders with on a regular basis—those who, for one reason or another, would be celebrating Christmas alone this year.
As I did a quick mental and emotional inventory, I was internally shocked at how my extensions of kindness this season had included those who didn’t have food or shelter, those who had an incarcerated parent, those who could benefit from a toy or food drive, and those who had recently lost a loved one.
These are all good things. But I had done so to the exclusion of those nearest me who could benefit from the gift of time and inclusion.
Admittedly, it’s hard to feel like there is more time to give. Perhaps this is due to tunnel vision with my to-do lists of the Christmas season or the busyness of fitting so many things into so few weeks and weekends. But I was reminded that it doesn’t have to mean more time, but instead ...