Thursday, November 02, 2006

Danger: Values Ahead

Friendly Traveler and I had a dilemma: Since Christmas is going to be her family's big holiday get-together, what were we going to do about Thanksgiving? My own local biological family consists of one elderly relative in a care facility and another one with her own life and extended family. FT's closest relative in the area wasn't warm to the idea of coming over.

We could have decided in favor of a "party of two" -- going out for dinner, or staying in for a quiet, downscaled Thanksgiving.

What we're doing instead is inviting everyone in our wider circle of friends and acquaintances who can't look forward to a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving to come over to FT's place. We are going to cook a holiday feast -- locally raised turkey, and other entrees, and sides and pies; a veritable groaning board. We're going to watch the parade, and watch the game, and eat, and give thanks for the opportunity to all be together and share what we have.

Pondering this, I can see why some people seem to find us so scary. I mean, look at the Native Americans. They took the risk of hospitality -- brought some corn and fish and game over to the odd, sickly and fairly incompetent little band of foreign religious eccentrics who'd taken up residence on the other side of the woods. Look what happened to the Native Americans for doing the right thing.

And then there was that Jesus guy, who was happy to eat dinner with "sinners," to talk to and teach and touch them, even though the holy folks around him found that offensive and unbecoming any pious person, much less a rabbi. Look what happened to Jesus for loving his neighbors, even the officially and otherwise unloveable ones.

Values can be dangerous. Do you really want them in your neighborhood?


Mata H said...

I have no family left, and for years I have invited my local version of the lost strayed and stolen over for the holidays. I never saw it as 'the right thing' or something that made me 'scary', though. It was just a way to be happy instead of being alone and sad. I guess I didn't think it was a statement --

Tom in Ontario said...

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have done something like that for years. She's into the whole gourmet cooking thing and they invite friends and acquaintances who are going to be alone or without extended relations to spend the day with them. And they're atheists to boot.

zorra said...

In my experience, Thanksgivings (or Christmases) like the one you're planning are the best of all. You wind up very tired, but happy. Have a wonderful day.