Hymnus Deo

Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holidays and Loneliness

I've read a number of people lamenting how many stores and restaurants are going to be open on Thanksgiving Day.  And while I understand the concern, it raises questions in my mind.  Every church and community has people who are single, widows, widowers, or who for some other reason have no family to spend the holidays with.  Are the people who are complaining about stores and restaurants being open reaching out to those people and opening their homes to them?  Or are they hovelling up with their families and refusing to make room for people who don't share their last name?

I realize their are plenty of people who want to be with their families, but are put in a position such that they have to work if they want to keep their jobs.  And that's a horrible thing.  But there are plenty of people who want to work.  The holidays are hard enough for them as it is.  By working, it helps them forget how alone they are.  There are people for whom the only conversation they will have on Thanksgiving will be with the waitress or the cashier.  If you want to know more about such people, you can check out the previous years' holiday suicide statistics.

So yes, it would be nice if the stores and restaurants were all closed on Thanksgiving Day.  But it would also be nice if there was no one alone that day.  Do you befriend people like that?  Do you open your home to them?  If not, then I'm not sure you have any right to tell them how or how not to spend the day.