How to Stay Alone on Thanksgiving Day

There is no rule that says you should be with your family during the holiday season, but it feels like it is. There are many reasons why you might be flying alone on Thanksgiving. Maybe your family is toxic. Maybe you don’t have the money to fly home. Maybe you’re burned out and want a year off from all expectations. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to go home in November to do it again for Christmas a month later. Maybe you need to work.

No matter how legitimate your reason is – and it doesn’t even matter how legitimate it is, to be honest – you can still feel strange about being alone. Let’s fix this.

Plan a special day just for yourself

Think back to many years of family Thanksgiving celebrations. Have you stayed at a certain aunt’s house, played football at a certain time, ate the same food every year, or followed some other tradition every fourth Thursday in November, forgotten by God, for as long as you remember? Maybe this is the year that you will break free from old habits!

Take time to think about what you really want to do. Even if the reason you are lonely is sad, you can find ways to make your day joyful in your own way. If you’ve always wanted to walk around a certain part of the city, visit a special restaurant, or just relax and watch movies, this is your big chance.

Kat Fajardo, a 31-year-old single mother whose child spends Thanksgiving with her ex, knows all about how to use this holiday to take care of herself as much as possible. “Once I just watched every Friends Thanksgiving episode,” she said, “and once I got through it, I moved on to other Thanksgiving TV episodes: New Girl, Parks and Rec, Gilmore Girls … I chose a strong woman. the hosts of the show, so I didn’t feel lonely. I was with my friends Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Jess, Leslie, Lorelai, Rory … “

You don’t need to be upset that you are missing out on the traditions that you are used to. Whatever you do, you don’t have to spend the whole day feeling discouraged or wanting to be somewhere else.

Spend time with another community

This is understandable if you really miss the people with whom you usually take this vacation, but there are others who would like to spend it with you. Throw a Thanksgiving Party for everyone you know who are alone this year. Find out about your pandemic habits and even post them on Zoom.

Call your local churches or community centers to see if they have Thanksgiving dinners. You can attend one of them or become a volunteer.

Don’t forget about your online community too. One 28-year-old named Kat told Lifehacker that they are planning to spend Thanksgiving alone for the first time this year, but will be visiting Twitch and other websites throughout the day to chat with friends online.

The family you choose can be as important as your biological one, and sometimes even more. Include people in your vacation plans who make you feel loved and understood, no matter who they are.

Embrace some of your old traditions

You don’t have to completely ignore your family on Thanksgiving, even if you don’t eat mashed potatoes with them. FaceTime, Zoom and Skype exist, don’t they? Video chat with your loved ones. It’s not the same as being there, no, but it can be nice to just see them.

Don’t force yourself to make a whole turkey or anything like that. You can , but you don’t have to. If you want to stick with old traditions or favorite Thanksgiving dishes, try simple ones like mashed potatoes or corn purée. The box filling is great!

Fajardo once even found a TV dinner that had all the classic Thanksgiving foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and carrots. Some restaurants offer special Thanksgiving meals that also include standard offerings – we even have a list for you right here .

This is where you chart a new course, but you don’t have to completely rethink what you know. Take the opportunity to do something new.

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