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I came to the alarming realization that Thanksgiving is a little over a week away. Yikes! It’s early this year, which means extra Christmas buildup. I happen to like Christmas, but I digress.

Thanksgiving is an odd holiday for me. It’s never been a huge family blow out. There’s food, family, the traditional family fight, and no presents. Christmas is a much better gig. So it’s not a holiday I’ve been home for in nearly 20 years. (And doesn’t that make me feel old.) I typically volunteer to cover work shifts as needed that day and the day after. It’s my trade off to get time to go home for Christmas. (I’ve only missed one Christmas at home in the last 20 years and I’m not planning on breaking that streak soon.)

So I’m a Thanksgiving orphan, often by choice. It’s usually a day where I experiment with something interesting and innovative for dinner. Other times I get a random invite for dinner and it’s off to spend quality time with friends and family.

This year I’m not feeling particularly creative. Thankfully I’ve picked up a couple invites, and that eliminates the quandary. But it got me thinking and I’ve got a challenge for you. It’s been a tough year. There’s a lot of animosity post election, and a lot of negativity tracking around. So let’s do something to shift the mood. If you know someone who doesn’t have local family, issue an invite for dinner. They may accept, they may not. But at a time where we keep pulling apart as a society, a time of texts and status updates replacing face to face contact, it’s important to connect one on one. That invite may be the difference between a night of fellowship and joy or a night of cold pizza and football.

If you can, offer the hand of friendship. Make a real connection. Even if the offer is turned down, the gesture will be remembered.

The world can change on a grand gesture. More often it changes with small gesture, repeated often. Be the change.

And really, who wants cold pizza on Thanksgiving?