You’ve moved away from home or don’t have family nearby to spend Thanksgiving with. How do you get your hands on some turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce? I’ve got some answers.
From my experience with homelessness and moving away from family, I’ve spent many Thanksgiving holidays on my own. I’ve found ways to make my own Thanksgiving special, hopefully these tips can help you too.
You come first.
Ask yourself what kind of Thanksgiving do you want to have. Do you want to be around a lot of people? Do you want it to be just you?
If you could make your own Thanksgiving traditions what would they be? What do you enjoy most about Thanksgiving?
Once you’ve checked in with yourself on how you want to spend the holiday, let’s make it happen!
You’d be surprised who will open their doors for you.
Let people know that you’re alone for Thanksgiving. You don’t know what you’re doing, you’re new in town, etc.
Don’t be afraid to speak up about your situation or what you want to do. You will be surprised how many others don’t have anywhere to go or how many people will invite you to their tables.
A few years ago, I was at a new job in a new city. My boss invited me to her house for Thanksgiving. It was the first time I ever hand green bean casserole (not a fan) and a mojito (big fan). We gathered around the table in her beautiful home with her family and it felt great to be invited and be at a table for Thanksgiving.
Another year, I met a woman at church. Her family opened their doors for me on Thanksgiving and Christmas that year. We went to her grandmother’s house for good collards and her aunt’s house for good bourbon and spades.
It was all because I let people know I didn’t have anywhere to spend Thanksgiving.
Giving back for Thanksgiving isn’t just donating turkeys and canned foods, sometimes it’s opening your home (and your family) to a stranger so they can gather around a table too.
I’m thankful for all those families, new people, new traditions I’ve seen over the years. I’ll take all of what I’ve seen to make my future family’s Thanksgiving just how I always imagined it to be.
Do your own thing if you want to.
If you’d rather avoid the awkwardness of waltzing into the home of a stranger (that awkwardness goes away when you dig into the mac and cheese), I’d suggest visiting your local newspaper’s website to see what restaurants are open on Thanksgiving.
Newspapers usually put together a list of places that are open for Thanksgiving or places that are serving Thanksgiving dinner. There’s always some fancy restaurant hosting Thanksgiving meals. I’ll treat myself to a fancy Thanksgiving dinner one of these years.
The hardest part about being alone for the holidays is, being alone. Holidays are deemed a time for family and friends, so it’s natural to feel alone if you don’t have those during the holiday. Instead of feeling lonely, do your own thing!
One of my favorite Thanksgivings was when I cooked my own Thanksgiving dinner at home. I baked a huge turkey, made my favorite sides, and watched movies all day by myself. It was so peaceful and quiet.
I was able to cook, have a good meal which is what makes Thanksgiving special to me.
Whether it’s being in a crowded kitchen, in your own kitchen, or a dinner out on the town. What makes Thanksgiving special is the traditions you make and who you spend it with be it strangers, friends, family or yourself.