Togetherness. If there’s anything we’ve missed this year, it’s togetherness. Sure, some of us have had the blessing of spending our time in quarantine with immediate family members or roommates. Still, there are others who are completely alone, cut off from their family and friends. Even those who have others living under the same roof may feel lonely, as seeing friends and extended family might not be the safest option in the current state of the pandemic. So, with Thanksgiving upon us, what message can you send to help create a feeling of togetherness during this holiday quarantine?
It’s understandable that it’s hard to know the right words to say right now. Thus, continue reading to reflect on Thanksgivings past, and to consider some thoughtful Thanksgiving messages for businesses to relay during this unusual holiday season.
Message of Thanksgivings in the Workplace
The American Thanksgiving tradition originates from the Pilgrim’s harvest festival at Plymouth. Or, it stems from the arrival of the Spaniards in what is now St. Augustine, Florida. Whichever story you subscribe to, one thing is the same—despite the hardships they encountered, both groups gave thanks for their safe arrival to that place and time.
When I allow myself to reminisce old Thanksgiving celebrations in the office, I first remember the togetherness. It was a time when all departments met in the biggest room in the building, gathering around a table that seemed to stretch for a mile. There was turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and rolls. Then, there was more! Despite the endless foodstuff options, that was never the focus of the event. The message at Thanksgiving, even in the workplace, was that this was a time for comradery and fellowship.
In 2020, your workplace may not have a room big enough to accommodate even one department with everyone standing a safe distance apart. Nevertheless, businesses can find creative ways to send their workers and clients messages of togetherness at Thanksgiving. In order to help you know what to say, here are some topics to start with.
Thanksgiving is about togetherness.
It would be easy to bypass Thanksgiving altogether this year. Especially if someone doesn’t have anyone to share the holiday with in person. It just won’t feel the same, right? Regardless, encourage people to show up! While it is entirely possible to celebrate alone, remember that being in fellowship with others is a big aspect of this holiday.
So, businesses can communicate that message to employees and clients. Reach out to them and remind them that they are a part of your work family, and that they are important to you. Regardless of how many times we say it, it remains a fact that we are in this together. Encourage them to gather virtually with friends and family, if there isn’t a safe way to do so in person.
Thanksgiving is about outreach.
When the Spaniards arrived in Florida in 1565, curious onlookers gathered to witness the priest anointing the land. Although the Spaniards and the Timucua tribe were strangers, the Spaniards extended an invitation to the tribespeople to break bread and give thanks along with them.
This historical event is one that can be communicated in your Thanksgiving message. Specifically, Thanksgiving has never been an event that is isolated to one group of people. So, reach out to your employees and clients. Be the example that you hope others will follow. Even if we can’t commune in person, modern technology affords us countless ways to reach one another. Plus, you never know how much it might mean to someone to if you simply reach out to let them know know they are on your mind.
Thanksgiving recognizes our blessings.
Without a doubt, a lot has been taken away from us this year. Instead of counting the losses, we need to take inventory of our blessings. So, after all the dust settles, what things remain? Friends, family, health, career. Hopefully there are more blessings you can include in your list, but this is a good start.
While it’s not exactly advisable to sit on your high horse and tell people they should be thankful they still have a job, there are ways to go about reminding them that you have weathered the storm together. Businesses can send Thanksgiving message letting them know that things could have gone very differently this year, but because of the role your employees and clients played, the business is still thriving.
Thanksgiving embraces diversity.
The dinner table at Thanksgiving can be a riveting place of discussion. Despite our best efforts to keep the peace, different personalities pretty much guarantee some interesting discourse.
This year, though, don’t try to fight it. Remember, Thanksgiving celebrations have often been a joining of diverse people. So, while putting differences aside might not be entirely possible, perhaps you could send a message of openness. Communicate a message of embracing diversity instead of opposition and division.
Thanksgiving is a time to bring the best of you to the table.
2020 has turned into the year of yoga pants and joggers. So, why should Thanksgiving be any different?
Instead of rolling up to the dinner table in your Lululemons and Fabletics best, perhaps you could send a message that this would be a great time to roll old-school. Whether or not you are celebrating alone, with immediate family members, or at a virtual table, wear your Sunday best! Surely you have something snazzy in your closet you haven’t had a chance to wear yet this year.
Thanksgiving is a time to give in all ways.
While it is easy to wallow in our own sorrows depending on individual circumstances, remember there are always those less fortunate than ourselves. In fact, there will likely be many people who won’t have the means to make a Thanksgiving feast this year.
So, consider sending a message to your workers and clients that you plan to contribute to the feast for others. Whether it’s sending a turkey to an employee or client, donating to a local food bank, or teaming up with Meals on Wheels, let it be known that you recognize the giving part of Thanksgiving.
Foster Togetherness Through Your Message
It’s hard to know the right thing to say to employees and clients this Thanksgiving. The hardships can seem immeasurable, and you want to be careful to communicate as much empathy as possible. Still, businesses shouldn’t shy away from sending Thanksgiving messages to associates. Instead, be intentional about sending a message that fosters togetherness. Empathize with the situation at hand, but encourage people to continue to see the holiday for what it is—a time to reach out to one another and give thanks together.
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