Manage Your Celebration Expectations
Even though Thanksgiving in the United States is commonly celebrated as a remembrance of a harvest feast shared by Pilgrims and American Indians in 1621, the concept of an annual celebration of thanks has been traced back to ancient times in various cultures. So when viewed from the perspective of purely being a day of gratitude, there is no reason why single people would not fit into the picture.
However, as the American tradition grew in popularity and songs like “Over the River and Through the Woods” defined the day, it morphed into a day we’re expected to spend with family members, eating more food than can comfortably fit in our stomachs.
Our society is far less tribal now than when President Lincoln first proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday back in 1863. With the arrival of modern transportation, families began to scatter, often with single family members moving far away for career or climate reasons. So a visit home is no longer a simple sleigh ride through the woods. In some cases, there is no other “home” to visit. Yet, we hang on to tribal traditions, and the single person is left out of the picture.
Different Schools of Thought
Some single people have created new families made up of mostly other single friends and celebrate Thanksgiving together as if they were blood relatives. Other single people enjoy being “adopted” for a day by another family. And still others are offended when they are invited to another family’s holiday dinner, feeling as if the invitation is a sympathetic gesture toward someone less fortunate.
How a single person enjoys, or loathes, the feast of thanks depends on expectations. If you expect to be invited to a gathering of other singles or to another family’s dinner but don’t get the Facebook notification, prepare your own turkey and invite others who might be in the same position as you. Reach out to co-workers, neighbors, club members or anyone who is new in town. If, after all this effort, no one accepts your invitation, consider volunteering your time at a bigger gathering, such as the local Salvation Army dinner or an event sponsored by a local school or church.
If you want to spend the day alone but end up receiving invitations elsewhere, politely decline the offers. Do not assume that the people doing the inviting feel sorry for you. There is a difference between sympathy and empathy; those people most likely are imagining how they would feel if they were not married and did not have family nearby.
“I think of the Fall harvest when it comes to Thanksgiving. That is a wonderful time to share your bountiful life with others.” – Psychic Lucy ext. 5353
Remember the Day’s Essence
However you spend Thanksgiving, take time to give thanks for the blessings in your life, even if a spouse and relatives are not among your blessings. And if you do have family members who live far away, call them around the time they are sitting down for their dinner so they can pass the phone around. As the old Bell Telephone commercials used to say, “Long distance is the next best thing to being there.” That is, as long as your cell can pick up a signal over the river and through the woods.
“Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect and give thanks in a positive way and remember the power of gratitude thoughout the year!” – Psychic Shamira ext. 5125
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